Sometimes, I’m afraid I’ve lost it. Sometimes it feels as though all of the creativity has fallen out of me. The very creativity I once prided myself on. I like to refer to those times as “basic.” It takes a good book, an article, even a particularly moving movie to remind me that creativity is not so much a natural gift as it is a learned and practiced skill. A skill that gets rusty but can always be cleaned.
So how do you fight this basic feeling? Easy: with life.
In honor of the coldest day of the year and because I was wearing the most layers I would ever wear in Florida, I decided to get a flu shot. I struck up a conversation with the physician and found that she gave me my flu shot last year when she was nine months pregnant. Needless to say, today she was gushing about being eyeballs-deep in 1-year-old birthday party planning. (I will save my sarcastic comments on why we spend unexplainable amounts of money and time on birthday parties for a tiny being that wants nothing more than to shove its face in that over-the-top, specialty birthday cake for another post).
Our conversation bounced from babies, to coworkers, to the unbelievably cold weather. Nothing in particular was said and nothing was accomplished (besides a vaccination that takes 2 weeks to take effect anyway…so antibacterial soap is still a necessity). But I left with a better attitude and a small smile that came from nothing other than camaraderie found in the most unexpected of places.
Today I wrote, and tonight I will sketch because a moment spent feeling basic is a moment wasted. Every moment of every day is precious. Feeling basic is unacceptable. There are too many fascinating things to see; too many people to connect with. When I’m feeling basic, I pledge to talk to people, get outside, start a new hobby, memorize a song, run in the rain, laugh at a stupid joke. Inspiration blossoms when you least expect it.
“If you want to write, here’s a secret: the writer’s struggle is overrated, a con game, a cognitive distortion, a self-fulfilling prophecy, the best excuse for not writing.” – Roy Peter Clark
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway