Being creative runs as a thread throughout my life, from early childhood to my teenage years to the current day. I’ve always needed a creative outlet one way or another. Looking back, I can see when I was happiest and most successful when I was using my creativity best. This began at an early age.
Lots of Play
Play has always been important when I was a kid. My mother stressed it a lot that my brother and I should develop ourselves through play. So that’s what I did. We had loads of toys, and I would make all sorts of stories around them. I would create a ledger for a vet with my animal toys and come up with several ailments. In another setting, I would make up a classroom filled with dolls. Coming up with strange names was the part I liked best. I’ve also begun several magazines and newspapers, though they never really got past the first issue.
As a teenager, I was mighty creative. Not only did I write a 300-page Backstreet Boys fan fiction story, but I was also active in school theatre and other creative outlets. I participated in a play through someone I knew where I handled the beamer and was an extra on stage. I took singing lessons, for it was my dream to become a pop star. I played the violin. I wrote and performed my song on stage at my high school, while also performing in a dance group that same evening. I guess I was pretty much unstoppable.
When high school stopped, all these activities ended too. The only thing that continued was me writing stories. That also lessened for lack of inspiration and, I guess, being bogged down by too deep a depression. Only when I got a job at a photo service, I reached back into my creative opportunities. I think that’s the retail job I loved the most. I got to print people’s pictures, but I would also make Christmas cards and party invitations. I used many ready-made templates, but I would also make adjustments and design them myself. I even created a birthday calendar from scratch. Those were good times.
After that, I finally got the opportunity to get back into theatre. Now, I’m not a great actress. I can only play roles that are close to my own character. But I love being involved in making a play with a group of people, usually creative individuals themselves. I love the rehearsals, the joking around, all the while building towards this one goal together: the final performance. Over time, I didn’t only act, but I would design the poster and look for props and even choose the soundtrack for the play.
And then there’s now. I’m filling my days with all things creative. It’s not easy. We’ve been in a lockdown now for nearly a year, so there are close to no outside stimuli. No meetings with friends, no rope events, not even visits to the cinema. It’s hard to continue to write and find inspiration somewhere. I play my video games which give me some relief, and sometimes they’ll give me an idea to write about.
I love being able to express myself with my stories and blog posts, and even more so because people enjoy reading them.
Living the Creative Life
For the first time in my life, I don’t have a day job anymore. All I need to do is be creative and share my gift with the world. Like any artist, I struggle with this calling. You can’t just sit down and create the next bestseller. It’s sitting down, writing and working hard. Being creative isn’t an easy calling. Only sometimes, when everything comes together, you feel amazing and on top of the world. But then the next day comes, and you have to do it all over again and hope for the same results. But still, it’s a gift I’m proud of, and I cherish.