How to (try to) Be Creative A Lot.

When I was 10, I was an artist. I took drawing classes, painting, I doodled and stuff. It was fun.

When I was 12 I discovered the Stones and decided I’d be a rock god. So I started playing guitar. Around 20 I started writing and recording songs. Drawing was still kind of a thing, but not as much. Now that I think about it, I didn’t do jack with my art except way-kicking-rad doodles until I was about 26 when I decided to become a graphic artist and make rock posters, and album covers.

Last year I decided I could be a writer and wrote a single novel for the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month or something) – the November challenge, where you have to write a 50,000-word story in just 30 days. I did it. And I kicked ass at it. The novel’s a mess right now, but doing the NaNoWriMo broke up my artsy/musicky creative output and showed me I didn’t need a sketch pad, didn’t need a guitar, I could just dream up stories and puke them onto the keyboard.

Unfortunately, what I’ve done is create about 40 different creative outlets for myself now:
– Writing
– Animation
– Songwriting
– Live Performance
– Singing
– Drawing
– 3D Design
– Interpretive Dance

image: MorgueFile.com

image: MorgueFile.com

And a lot of others. Each one comes naturally – I mean if you’re creative, you’re creative. But each one looks/sounds/reads like a person who could RRRREALLY be decent if they took the time to apply themselves. And fuck that. Every one of my report cards has that phrase, going back to 3rd Grade.

Apply Myself? I’d rather suck eggs.

Since I’m a natural at all of these things, I refuse to dedicate myself. I refuse to commit. I refuse to practice.

I mean, I’ll play guitar for 30-minutes or an hour sometimes, wailing along to records or trying to noodle out a sweet ass solo. And I’ll draw shit, and write. But I’ve never, EVER committed to a once-a-week, or once-a-day schedule for the purpose of improving my creativity.

Never. It just comes. And I funnel it, or channel it, or chunnel it. It erupts, I do my best to capture it, and BAM some of the greatest accidentally creative shit you’ve ever seen/heard/read.

But I’m 47. Almost 48. I want to have some things to illustrate that at one point, I DID get Serious. I Did Apply Myself. (vurp). And I Did Create Something that took passion, time, effort and an investment in myself.

Okay, to be fair, in 2005, I DID do that. I wrote and recorded a CD. But those songs? They weren’t written FOR that CD. I’d written them over the span of 10 years. Those were some of the best songs I had on hand. Nothing was crafted just for that CD. So that CD is a record – a document – of some of my best work. And I did – I committed 3 months to showing up to a studio and applying my best efforts while I was there.

Did I go home and try to improve any of the songs before going in the studio? NNnnnnope. Did I brush up the guitar, vocals, bass playing, anything? Fffffuck that.

So what I’m saying is, It’s Time To Do That.

I’m going to write. I’m going to write 500 words everyday. That’s all. Of my creative outlets, writing is the one that requires the smallest footprint. No pencils, no reference materials, no guitar strings and amp. Just me and my laptop. And I’m already there. On Facebook or SomethingAwful or a million other brain-sucking places. Instead? I’m committing to suck my brain into stories.

Will those stories suck? Of course they will. At first. But that’s how working at any passion happens. You work at it.

Dammit.