Last night I was reminded of the importance of dedication to craft and creativity. I had the rare evening alone, and while I was very tempted to sit and play my new online game all night, I reminded myself of how important creativity is to my overall well being and pushed through it to get our new podcast edited. Once it was finished, I still got some time in-game and had the feeling of well-being and accomplishment that comes with getting through a creative endeavor.
I think it’s important to be creative in some manner every day. Even if you don’t write a single word, try to find some way to be creative at least once during the day. Stretch your imagination, come up with a new solution to something, or just look in wonder at the world around you, as cheesy as I know that sounds. I just mean that looking at things from a new perspective constantly keeps you fresh and alive. Even during my fallow period, when I wasn’t writing a single word outside of my job, I was creating worlds and landscapes that are now appearing in my stories.
And about that fallow period…basically, from 2006 to 2009 or so, for the duration of a soured relationship, I lost the passion for my writing – for any creativity at all, in fact. There were brief flirtations with a return to form during that period, but they never lasted. It’s appropriate that those three years are also associated with a depesssion that coincided with getting into therapy for good and really pushing toward becoming the person that I thought I could be. I may mourn all the lost time and opportunity, but there’s no chance I become the writer and person that I am today without that period.
I had a real love affair with the destructive, a passion for nihilism, and a romanticism of the fucked-up. I figured you had to be broken in some way to truly be creative, and even more than that, to live an authentic life. My flirtation with self destruction led me to that point, to the very brink, before I learned that authentic life is not about flaunting rules and norms. It’s about living your life to your own personal code. About learning who you really are and embracing it. But I never would have learned that without suffering through that period, ultimately brought on by my own lack of self-esteem. In effect, in order to find my way, I had to lose it.
It’s becoming clear to me that, in some ways, creativity is linked to spirituality for me. I’m not going to attempt to dissect it, but rather accept it and be grateful that I have found some way to be tied to the spiritual again.