We had compulsory art classes in school, and I remember being average at it. I remember that I always synonymously used the words “Art” with “creativity”. Growing up, I used to say I’m not a creative person, because I couldn’t draw, colour or paint. It took me a while before I realised that everyone has their own unique creative outlet, and that creativity was something beyond the typical list of “singing, dancing, playing an instrument or cooking.” It was not definitive. It was subjective. Not everyone discovers their creative outlet at an early age, and not everyone’s is so obvious. I now synonymise personal creativity with self-expression, which could be anything from the way I choose to stack multiple rings on my fingers to going off on a tangent when I’m speaking or writing.
For the longest time and counting, I’ve felt uncomfortable with calling myself a writer. I feel like that’s such a heavy definition to live up to. I feel pressured to create, and hit a dead end. It’s always a blank. I feel like a lone figure in the middle of a stretch of never-ending road, staring far ahead into the horizon – into nothingness. It’s easier to call myself a writer with writer’s block. Perhaps I’m uncomfortable with self-definitions, because they’re too black & white for an area that can be so grey. The self changes, there’s volatility in my comfort with the familiarity. I can write something today, and not write anything for a month. I can write multiple times in a week, or come up with an idea but not have any solid content to go along with it. I can expose myself to other great works’ but then when I sit down to create a draft, I draw up a blank.
I can never force myself to write, fiction or otherwise. I surprise myself each time I do it. It’s impulsive. It ebbs and flows to its own strange rhythm. As I write this, I realise I struggle with giving myself credit, but more so with the mental barriers that seem to have been made with a special blend of cement, a feeling of inadequacy + unnecessarily high expectations.
This is a constant work in progress – a progress that I can fully see, here and now, in the form of this post.
Something that tends to get lost amongst the chaos is the joy I feel in writing – for myself.
Happiness can’t be quantified in the number of times I write.
Tell me, what’s your creative outlet? What does creativity mean to you?
[All images & writing in response to the WordPress’ The Daily Post Discover Challenge Obstacles]