A few weeks ago, I was digging through folders on my computer that I don’t often venture in to. I found my very vaguely named “Writing” folder and I really had no idea what would even be in there. So I looked. It was filled with both academic and creative writing that I’d done while I was in college. Much of the academic writing was quite dry and boring but the creative writing was, well, creative.
I read pieces that I forgot about writing. I read some and thought maybe with a little revision, they could really be something. I read through others that needed editing and even more that were somewhat juvenile. Regardless of the quality of the collection, it was all writing that took me back to that exact time and place when I was probably the most creative.
It was then that I truly realized how much I’ve lost.
After graduation, I immediately transitioned from a student to working adult and I left my creativity. I stopped writing when I started working. I entered the (incorrect) mindset that my job had to be wholly fulfilling and when I got home and relaxed on the couch, I wouldn’t need anything else to make me feel productive.
I got an itch to write again in late 2008 which led to the beginning of the wine blog that I had for three years but the wine blog was a temporary movement in my creativity. It wasn’t really the best of my writing but it was a way to dive into something I thought that I was the most passionate about.
I’m passionate about wine, that’s certain. I love it. But it’s not the thing that I’m the most passionate about. I’m most passionate about writing, but the writing I did then was handcuffed. It was limited to one topic and didn’t allow me to explore anything else. It was possibly the least creative writing I may have ever done in my spare time (at least since my days as a young girl writing in a diary about my day).
Of course, I tried to make things interesting but it wasn’t quite the same as when I’d walk the college campus at night to the steps of the campus’ main hall, and sit in silence (and often in the cold) while I worked out my thoughts.
Ever since I started this blog last year, I knew I’d lost a bit of my creativity but I didn’t know the extent of it. I’ve had little to write here but it’s not because I have nothing to say. It’s often because I’ve forgotten how to unlock what I have trapped in my head. It’s been hard to find elegant (or maybe messy) ways to express myself.
So I’m deciding to work on my creativity. It’s not an overnight process but the slow return of life to my fingers as I write is completely worth it. Scheduling a night to write in a cafe every week or finding music that can make me cry, even when there’s no lyrics, will help. Maybe finally taking piano lessons or French classes to break me out of the normal patterns of adult monotony will stoke the creative flame. Even writing pieces that aren’t really that good will help me rebuild my skills–not fearing to fail every time I put pen to paper is a huge factor in actually churning out something good. And when I find something like a movie that opens up my soul to new thoughts and feeling, well, I’m going to keep prodding that to see where that can bring my creative mind.
Writing is my main medium and where I feel most comfortable when I go to create my own things but dabbling in other mediums can help make my writing better by being a bit of inspiration. Other creative activities can open me up to be receptive to new ideas, letting myself fail, and try harder next time.
I’m not hoping to be perfectly back to a creative flow immediately. It will take some work. But I’m finding myself again. I’m finding my inner happiness by working to unlock my own creativity.