Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

Positivity Unchecked

October 1, 2016

I posted an essay on Medium about attending a certain creativity cult conference yesterday.

Ghosts of the Past

March 8, 2015

I’m long overdue for a wrap-up of my ghost trip. I’ve been putting it off for some reason. It’s not that I’ve been waiting on photos – I had those processed and uploaded the day after I made it home. Not waiting for mental processing, either – I do all my thinking on the road, and haven’t really done any more since. No, really. No thinking at all.

It’s more due to the fact that I came to a big, scary realization on the road, one that I’m only slowly beginning to tell my friends and families about. And yes, it’s shocking people every bit as much as it shocked me to discover.

I don’t want to be an author.

Dude. Gentle reader, you may or may not know how huge that realization is. I’ve written throughout my life, ever since my first short story was published in the Saipan Sun at the tender age of 6 (it was pretty bad, but it was the family newspaper that my dad photocopied at his office so the standards weren’t super high). I wrote my way through high school and college, and wrote on into my career, where the word Writer became a part of my title in my jobby job.

Still, there was this feeling that it wasn’t enough. A writer does not become an author until they are published, and you’re only published if you write every day, and follow through with query letter after query letter, and ballsy introductions to agents and acquisitions editors at hotel bars during conventions.

So I did it. I joined the board of a writing association, I queried (some of which were accepted), I schmoozed. But my heart wasn’t in it. And I tried to write in my chosen genre every day, and every time I skipped it, I felt guilty.

The guilt grew. I didn’t talk about it. I wrote less. The guilt got bigger. I started talking about it, bitterly. But I never attacked that core assumption: that a writer must desire to be an author.

I don’t. And it took this trip for me to realize that, to allow me to release that ghost from the past.

How will this change things for me? Meh. Probably not much. I’ll still write every day (I mentioned my day job is Writer, right?). I’ll still blog, especially while traveling. I’ll still write short stories when the mood catches me. I’ll likely still do NaNoWriMo (cuz it’s awesome). But I’m releasing the guilt. I’m releasing the feeling that Author must be my career goal.

Man, is it freeing. There’s this project that I’ve had on the side, where a friend and I work with teenagers around the idea of beauty and societal values, then help them put together their own beauty mag, and I think I’m going to shift some of my drive over in that direction.

It’s also terrifying. I told a friend at work about my revelation, and proceeded to wig out a bit on her. Writing and aiming for publishing has always been my main creative outlet. What do I do without it? She brought out her ukulele and let me harmonize to “Hallelujah” and “Blank Space” to prove it wouldn’t be a problem. She’s good people.

I’ll always have writing, I’ll have singing and photography and knitting and a host of other creative outlets. But y’know what? I’m cool if I never achieve pro status at any of those. I’ll be a blissful amateur.

And hey, what the heck does this have to do with road tripping? Umm… Nothing, really. This just wraps up the various paths my mind was wandering down while I was physically wandering. And I’ve gone on so long, I think I need to do another wrap-up that’s a bit less in the mind. But the road trip epiphanies are about 80% of the reason that I love traveling that way, so this felt like the piece that had to be wrapped up first. Thanks for putting up with the detour; more awesome photos of bizarre places coming soon.

Amargosa Performance

Somewhere in the new year…

January 6, 2010

I am heartily tired of everyone cheerily talking about how 2010 is already looking so much better than 2009!! : )   ; )  !!! emoticon, emoticon, etc….

Okay people, first of all, you’ve only had, like, a week. Not enough time for you to mess it up yet. And secondly, it’s not been so cheery for everyone, so shut it!

Shoot, is there a “don’t blog while grumpy” rule? Maybe there should be. Oh well, screw it.

I’m not sure if it’s the seasonal blues, long-phase manic-depression, or just a stressful time of the year at my work, but I always find myself blue and cranky around this time. It usually starts a little later; I love New Year’s Day, and I always try to spend it doing a tiny bit of everything I want to do throughout the year. Usually that includes a wee road trip, cooking a great dinner, writing, getting lost, taking the dog for a run… This year I stayed in bed. Until January 4th. Watching Dr. Who and Torchwood marathons.

Now normally, I think taking a little time to do nothing and sit on my ass is a good thing, especially when I’m stressed from work and exhausted from holiday festivities. But this was different. I was desperate to DO something, to make something, to knit, take a photo walk, get lost, trespass. And the longer I did nothing, the more frustrated with myself and depressed I became.

I think I’m clawing my way out. I started small, posting a load of stuff on craigslist. Easy, can be done from the safety of my bed. But once the crate had sold ($40 bucks, rock on!), I had extra space. I had to move the filing cabinet into that space, but it had the Christmas tree on it, so I had to take that down, and put Christmas stuff away, and that started me thinking about what else I could get rid of, and before you know it, I’ve got a box of things heading for Goodwill, a rug waiting to be picked up on the curb, and $40 to spend at Michael’s for hat-making supplies. I’m thinking folded velvet, with fobs, and a hinge on the top where a little sparrow pops out. I think that’s totally do-able.

Maybe my creative aspirations are a bit lofty. But every once in a while, I meet them. I finish a novel. I carve and paint a decorative niche. I knit a sweater. And I’m never happier as I am when I’m working towards them. I just need to remember this, and stop thinking that sitting on my ass is what I want.

So. Despite my resolve to never resolve anything, I do have a resolution. No TV for a month. I’ve done it before, I can do it again. And I might just get something done this month!