The Truth About Creativity - The Stuff We All Know is True But Don't Want to Say
The truth about creativity?
The truth is that she's everywhere, and nowhere at all.
You can't count on creativity. She shows up sometimes and saves you, but the next time you need her she's nowhere in sight.
You've got to stay wide open for her.
She is unpredictable, and she's a pain in the ever-loving.
She's the most fabulously beautiful thing you could ever encounter and you fall down at her feet in sheer amazement every time you turn a corner.
She's the lover that loves you with the most ferocious and giving love--but one day you find you're miles and miles apart and how did you ever get this way?
The truth is that creativity is just a memory, she's a ghost you once lived with and watched die and come back to you time and time again.
There are books and blog posts and poems and stories written about her, endless tips and tricks to harness and contain her, to make her yours, to never lose her.
You can write all you want about how to be creative, you can plan your schedules, your routines to make believe you can capture her, and bonne chance with that, but no one thing in this world has ever caught the full and complete quintessence of her.
You can spend your life wooing and coaxing her heart from hiding. You can spend a lifetime watching for her to come home to you, only to have her whisper in your ear all the words you meant to say and then vanish into the secrets of the nameless, wordless place we all fool ourselves into thinking we can retreat to in search of her. But she goes a path we cannot follow. We lose it constantly, and we sing in the moments when we find it.
But the truth about Creativity is that she belongs to no one. She cannot be owned like the cat on your window sill. She is the wind and she is the blue in the sky, she cannot be captured, nor bottled for use as desired.
She is a ship on the ocean and where she'll anchor you cannot tell.
She is the one and only truly free being in the universe.
And after all that, after knowing all this and signing your life away to her, after shoveling through snowdrifts to reach her(because once you do you know you can truly breathe), after all the times she's left you hanging, after all the times she was never there for you when you needed her, after all the promises she made but never kept, after all that . . .
She still expects you stay awake for her at night. To leave the light on. Still expects you to stay wide open--for her. After all the tears she's caused, after all the heart break, after all the crumpled pieces of paper and deleted words, she still expects you to look for her in unexpected places, to follow every trace of her in the forgotten magnum opuses and half-finished dreams and unwritten words of everything you ever encounter. She still expects you to love her.
And you know what?
You still do. After all that.
She's still your first true love. Even after you've gone and found some steady anchor in your life, you're, after all, still in love with her. The truth is you're gonna sit down and you're gonna toil maddeningly at your schedules and routines, you're going to write your stories with or without her.
Yeah, sure, you'll hope she will show up. But the only sure and best way to live a fully Creative life is to never wait for her. It's to plunge ahead, to flirt with the edge of good and bad writing, to do away with the edge altogether, to pluck the strings no matter what horrible sound resounds. 'Cause only in the muck and mire of the most awful thing you've ever written is where you'll really and truly capture that elusive, selfish creature, Creativity. If only for a moment. And we all know a moment is better than a nothing.
A word written is far better than a word not written.