Fighting for Creativity

posted on: Thursday, January 29, 2015

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Lately, I’ve been allowing myself to create more. I have so often suppressed my desire to make things, create things, because it didn’t feel productive. It makes me cringe to say it now, but at the time, it felt like a waste. My friend Katie Lee once told me that making time to create is productive and I should plan on doing it daily. It wasn’t easy to do, and it took a while, but I’m finally letting myself do just that. I’m trying to leave space for my creativity to emerge, to grow, to develop in a new way. I’m not always happy with the end result, but I’m stretching those muscles I haven’t used so much. I’m sore in the right places and learning what it is to create all over again. I’ve been earnestly seeking the imagination I left back with my elementary school days. I wish I could go back to that Katy and ask her to teach me how to tap into my imagination, the way she so easily did back then. I’d also give her a hug, because being the chubby kid in school is really, really hard.

I really love this quote by Ira Glass that someone reminded me of on Instagram...

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” -Ira Glass

Thank you, Ira. Thank you for putting it into words more perfectly than I ever could have. I will keep fighting.

 

Image Credit: Photography by Alex Mcdonell/Lettering by Noel Shiveley

  • Laura B

    Creativity is such a difficult thing to conquer. It’s not an easy task…
    Great quote – very inspiring!
    “Fight your way through.”

  • Becca

    One of my favorite quotes! So glad to find you, thanks for the inspiration girl! Xo

  • So glad you found me! Anytime. I needed it just as much as you did. I think I’ll need to read this every single day. ;)

  • It’s nice to know that it’s okay to not be great right away. We just have to power through and not give up on our craft!

  • Looove this post. I also sometimes have to fight with myself about creative time being “wasted” time, but it is totally worth making time for, whatever your creative outlet might be.

  • Tami Mullins

    Hello Katy!
    I have popped over from Instagram as I was propelled to learn what your business is. In the meantime, I saw this post and it was what I needed to hear. A friend and I just had this discussion how we need to make time to create on a daily basis. It is a fight most days as so many chores come before my creativity. But, when I make time I am my most happiest self.
    Thanks for sharing this post!