Creativity does not come easy. It can be a daunting – even challenging – mindset to be in. I know I find it difficult. As a kid, I had a rather overactive imagination, and back then, creativity came easy to me. The more I explored it, the further my talent expanded. In writing, drawing, culinary, even sewing, crafts, jewelry, and pottery. It was fascinating to learn how many different ways I could creatively express myself. But it was like the flip of a switch when I started college, and suddenly all my energy was devoted to my studies. I no longer had the free time to be creative or make anything for that matter, except for homework and projects. My courses were chosen out of requirements and not for fun. And in throwing myself into my studies, I’ve found that I’ve rather lost touch with that side of myself that was once so unrestricted and limitless. Lately, I’ve felt that my creative mindset is tethered to my busy schedule that otherwise has no room for it.
I’ve been told to “just make room,” but if only it were that simple. Even when I find the time to use my creative muscle, I’m suddenly blocked, and my imagination only produces static. I know I still have to try and exercise it like a muscle. It’s difficult not to be hard on myself when in the past it had been much easier to be creative. I always want to do my best, and it gets disappointing when I let myself down. But I am learning to be kinder to myself. I shouldn’t try to force my creativity because I know that it is not something to be forced. Creativity is organic and unique to each person’s mind.
Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s evolved so much over time. Before, I used to focus on more whimsical topics that allowed for a fun escape from reality. As I grew older, my creativity matured with me. My interests in other topics that weren’t fairy tales grew. I still enjoyed fantasy and fiction, especially when it came to writing and drawing. And then slowly but surely, I started to leave the fantastical components in my creativity behind and started focusing on realistic fiction. I didn’t want an escape from reality anymore. My creative mindset was always about self-expression, but now I don’t feel the need to hide it under a fantasy. I express myself through my creativity that is more accurate to my reality.
Even with that in mind, sharing my creations with others has always been a challenge for me. I always expected my ideas to be met with laughter and humiliation – nothing to be taken seriously. I almost abandoned that, especially while going through college. I always admired the content creators that I follow on social media and wondered how they managed to make some semblance of a career for themselves from their own creativity. Once again, I’ve been too shy and afraid to put myself out there the way they do. It wasn’t until I added creative writing and art as minors to my degree and even started catering more to friends and family that I had to learn to slowly let go of that fear. Because I was required to share my creativity with others. And to my surprise, my creativity was met with praise and the promise of greater potential. My possibilities will open up so long as I don’t hold myself back.
I’m still struggling with this creative block in my mind, so I’m not quite in the proper mindset just yet to truly commence my creative exploration once more. But I am remembering to be kinder to myself and not force it. My creativity has been a journey that’s been on hold, but hopefully, I can get back to it soon and yes, continue to share it with others.
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