I’m hoping to make blogging a regular thing and since I’m working at a desk for nine hours a day, six days a week, I think I should be able to crank out a blog or two every once in a while. I just wrote about the woes of being broke and trying to afford college (and I’m still terribly irked about that as I can’t find a bloody scholarship anywhere to save my life! Yet I haven’t abandoned my search yet!) and I know that is prolly not the last time I’ll write about that topic, but I thought I’d switch gears for this post.
If you’ve ever read anything from this blog (and especially if you know me personally) then you know that I’m a terribly creative person. Creativity is one of my greatest strengths and tools. I hope to use it to create a career for myself as a writer. And being a writer and using creativity to twist the mundane into the magical, the pathetic into the poetic, the boring into the brilliant, is something that I have always cherished about myself. I love having creativity as such a natural tool in my arsenal. I can look at an empty field and turn it into a battlefield; becoming lost in a moment of clanging metal and a chorus of screams, complete with a history behind it and a future beyond what I created, all in a matter of moments. I can look into a forest and imagine all the creatures that are lurking in the shadows, from rabbits and squirrels to fairies and dragons. I can turn anything into a story, give it a past and create a narrative. This is a very natural thing for me that happens all the time. And that blows my mind that other people don’t naturally have the ability to weave a narrative out of nothing, because that is literally all I do. I’m banking my career on that habit, talent, whathaveyou. I think it is an amazing thing to be able to do and it has helped me make it through the day more than once. And I know I’m not the only person that can do this (I think every writer and many artists can do this) so while it isn’t really uncommon, it definitely isn’t a common thing, either.
However, people see it. They notice it. They can tell when someone is creative or has that creative vision. Yet I think what people don’t see is the other side of the coin, what I like to call the Curse of the Writer (though I titled this blog the Curse of the Creative for alliteration purposes (I know, super nerdy), which I’m actually starting to like a bit better, now that it has had time to grow on me). You see, I have this knack or talent or habit or whathaveyou of being able to create everything out of nothing. I see the world around me through a creative lens, so I am constantly unconsciously always creating and recreating the world, making up stories, scenarios, ideas. It could be as crazy as creating a mythical battlefield out of my backyard or as simple as imagining what I’m going to make for lunch, but I’m always creating something. What happens is when I stop creating and step back into reality and start trying to create narratives for that. The Curse of the Creative is just that: the creativity.
Let me explain. The Curse of the Creative is that because of the way I see things and my natural habit of being a storyteller, that when I start imagining how things could be in reality, I have no filter. My mind takes a thread of a possible story and runs with it, quickly creating a tale that is elaborate and beautiful and awesome, yet practically impossible to ever happen in reality. I can create how the best day will go or imagine the perfect way to be asked out on a date or the coolest way to win a basketball game, yet all of these stories are so driven by creativity that they pass out of the realm of reality, past the point of possibility. So when reality strikes and things don’t go as I imagine they would, it hurts a lot more because everything that I created didn’t happen. Which is unfair to reality, really, because I create expectations that are impossible to live up to. However, that is one of the reasons why people love stories so much in the first place. They allow us to escape the chains of reality and travel into lands where anything is possible and the impossible ideas, expectations and dreams we create are not impossible, but the normal. In stories, there are no limits. You are free.
Unfortunately, reality is not the same. And as a storyteller, I have found myself let down many a time simply because the expectations I had painted were far too unrealistic. I imagine knights in shining armor, walking on sunshine, riding on unicorns and flying through space. Reality is people who are trying to do their best in a place full of hardship, and sometimes their best isn’t enough. And sometimes things don’t work out. And sometimes you get hurt. But the magical part is that despite this fact, people keep going. You keep going. You pick yourself up, brush off your knees, straighten your shirt, place a bandage over your heart and you go out and face the day again. So while life may not live up to the expectations of a fairytale, I think there is still an impressive story to be found within the reality that we live in, in the strength of the people within it.
So, really, I think creativity is metaphorically, a double-edged sword. It provides an avenue that allows me to write and to see the world differently, to create stories out of nothing as naturally as breathing. Yet it also causes me to create stories out of realistic situations, taking my expectations to unrealistic, and often disappointing, heights. And when I fall from these heights, it hurts a lot more than it would if I hadn’t climbed so high. So my mission…quest…thing…yeah, is to learn how to wield this double edge sword that is the life of a storyteller and to find a balance that allows my creativity to remain supreme and to let the stories flow yet doesn’t accidentally cut me when I return to reality. Easier said than done, I suppose, (and considering it took at least 40 minutes or so for me to write this blog the way I wanted it to, it is looking to be pretty tough), but I figure I should give it a try anyway. Besides, learning how to wield this sword will be an adventure in itself, no matter how difficult.
And I truly love a good adventure.