A Little Creative TLC

I’m sure for many creativity, the concept of creativity is intertwined with their daily lives. I know this is the case for me. Granted, it’s not in every single facet of my life, it’s still heavily prominent. But just like with anything, you need a break. This post isn’t about taking a break from living a creative life, more so about having a reprieve from the creative tasks we do. I know I struggle with taking a break from writing and drawing; mostly because I feel unproductive. But there is always a necessity to give your self a break. Here are some of the reasons why

Spread too Thin

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Something I’ve noticed with creative tasks, there tends to be a considerable amount of multitasking. Lets look at the process for writing. It’s never as simple as just typing. A writer has to consider how the scene they are currently on progresses the story over all, if the dialogue flows well, what the character dynamics are and many more things. Doing this constantly could spread any one too thin. This in turn can lead to stress. And with that stress leaves a likelihood to be pushed into a creative block. I know this has happened to me several times.

Story Mixing

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This concept kind of ties into the first one. This is something that happens to me very often. Sometimes, I’ll stop working on one story, not to take a break, but to work on a different story. When I do this, I know I sometimes mix pieces of each story. For me, I want all of my stories to be unique from one another. If I don’t take a break, then they tend to seem the same. This is something that is frustrating for me, so taking a break is definitely a win- win for me.

You Deserve a Break

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If you’ve been on the internet at any point and time, I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase “treat yourself”. This is more than true. Every once in a while, taking a break is a necessity. All of the issues noted above can be remedied by simply taking a break.

What do People Think of my Work?

I’m sure this is a feeling that many creative people who share their work can relate to some of the same feelings I have. Regardless of the medium, many people likely feel these swirls of emotion; satisfaction, apprehension and even fear. The main question that I have is what impression do my works make, and if they make one at all. It’s something that can often stress me out. With this particular journal, I’ll be taking on a different layout for this post. So hopefully, this won’t be too jarring for anyone.

Need for Approval

This topic is one that warrants it’s own blogpost. But this is one of the things that I feel correlates with my questions on the impression my works make. I feel the need  to have my works accepted by the people who come across it. It gives a sense of validation, which boosts my confidence in my work. Is this a bad thing? To me, not necessarily. I think there is some necessity in getting an outside opinion. Criticism is something that I have written about before, and I have some of the same opinions.

Is There a Perceived Meaning?

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The thing that normally stresses me out when it comes to the impressions that my works make is the possibility of it being perceived as meaningless. This is a fear I have more so with my writing than with my art. The presentation of creativity is already relatively subjective. But I worry about my works being viewed a vapid. This mainly stems from the fact that I tend to put quite a bit of effort into my works. With my art (illustrations), though I put a considerable amount of effort and work into creating it, it’s more often than not just an image I’m trying to get out of my head. It’s more meant to convey a feeling as opposed to a meaning. However, for my writing, I am more often than not, trying to give a message or meaning. If that impression lacks a meaning to the audience, it is a definite blow to my confidence.

These are my main thoughts when it comes to the impression that audience members have on my works. I hope someone out there can relate to this. Thank you for reading!

No Qualms with Who She is

The image of beauty is one that I have trouble to see,

for when it’s presented, it never looks like me.

It’s never the girl who holds her comics in her hands,

yet we idolize and minimize the girl who chooses to dance.

My dark skin and features are presented as less than,

yet those with fair skin is expected to tan.

The image of beauty never looks like me,

but attaining said beauty is impossible to see.

Very few women are treated as they should,

even if they’re from the suburbs or the hood.

My culture are my roots, my experiences the trunks that stands

and my curls and coils are the flowers that flutter in my hands.

As a black woman in this society; I’ve had to learn this:

I have to be a woman with no qualms with who she is.

But I’m not the only woman who needed to know self love;

for women of all races beauty isn’t a one size fits all glove.

From deep complexion to fair or from thick to thin;

women should have no qualms with the beauty within.

Life is Like a Maze… Or Something Like That

When I think of a maze, I think of something interesting and fun. It makes me think of the times when I was younger with my younger brothers; running through the county cornfield maze in the fall. For the longest time. I equated mazes to something positive. So when I think of the phrase mentioned in the title, I think of something more positive.

So naturally, life is rarely ever straight forward and can be a bit confusing, like a maze. The twists and turns can all lead to something unexpected, just like in a cornfield maze. But when it comes to life, and for me that entails something creative, each turn  or corridor is new opportunity.

I have an example of this from an older post I wrote. In writing the first draft of my novel, things took a rather unexpected turn when it came to writing out the ending. But this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I wrote that post several months ago. Even in that short of time, my feelings toward an unexpected twist have changed. Now I see it as a new opportunity.

I feel that a positive mindset can have an impact on any aspect of life. When thinking positively, the concept of a maze becomes far less daunting and is more of a fun and new opportunity.

When You’re in a Rut

For me, it’s gets very frustrating to feel stuck in a situation. This applies to any aspect of life; from school to your livelihood. Thankfully, there are few places where I’m having this stagnant feeling. But in the places I do feel it, it hits me hard. I’ve written about writer and art block, but this rut feels a bit different. There’s something stifling and suffocating about a rut. Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out how to get out of it.

One major thing to remember is that it’s temporary. There is a phrase that I’ve heard in books, movies and television shows that ties to this; I’m relatively sure the phrase stems from a religious background, but I digress. The phrase is: “This too shall pass”. This can be said about ruts. Now, I know it feels like you can be stuck there for what feels like forever. But, it is a temporary thing. There are several things that I have done to try and push past a rut.

One of the things that I do, may sound a bit strange to do when in a rut. That thing is to just take a break. For me, I feel stagnant and like I’m in a rut when I’m overwhelmed. When too much is going on at once, it can make me shut down, thus putting me in a rut. So taking a breather can help with crawling out of that rut.

Once I’ve taken a break, I don’t jump straight into what was causing me to feel so off. An example is in my novel. I have been a rut with this for quite some time. Now that I feel more ready to write, I focused on other works. This isn’t the first time I’ve been in a rut when it came to writing my novel. The last time this happened, I decided to work on short stories, scripts and even fanfiction. I only dabbled in those for a few months or so, but after I was able to finish the first draft of my novel. I hoping to be able to get through a second draft , or even a final product.

Those are the main things that I do get through a rut. I hope these help someone who may be going through the same issue.

Deciding to Chose a Creative Lifestyle

I watched a video yesterday that really struck a cord with me. It was a video about the particular content creator’s top ten best anime characters. There was a character that he was describing that he identified with, and honestly, I identified with it as well. I link to his video for those interested. But to summarize there was a character that had a realization to chose what he loved (Tennis) over what he had convinced himself was more important (Getting straight A’s). This was something I’ve struggled with throughout school, even in Grad school. Granted, I really love school and learning for knowledge’s sake. I tend to lean more towards creativity.

So how does one chose the right option? This was something that I struggled with, more so in undergrad. I wasn’t sure if school would impede on a more creative lifestyle. This was heightened as I started to lose interest in what I had thought I wanted to study, which was to go into law school. I thought I’d have to give one up for the other.

I’m extremely thankful that I learned that I can have both. Creativity is something that is very fun, and has the capacity to be lucrative. I see things like the arts, literature and writing to be the a part of the creative lifestyle. I currently feel that I have a creative lifestyle. I pour a lot of my time into writing. Recently, I’ve also gotten back into drawing. However, I’m very active with my education as well. As stated before, I identified with the character in the video that had to chose which lifestyle they wanted to live.

For me, I chose both. I know that this sounds like a lot to handle. But honestly, even one of those things can be a lot depending on one’s out look. For me, the creative lifestyle doesn’t just mean that you only focus on the arts. It’s very possible to follow a creative lifestyle while that may not be your entire focus. For me personally, I’m in school to be a professor. But I still am active in writing my novel as well as just writing for fun. I also make it a habit to draw everyday. It’s really a matter of mindset. I don’t just see them as tasks or as a burden. They’re a part of my identify, as corny as that may sound. It can be the same for others. You can have goals that a different from your creative goals. Depending on the goals, they can even intertwine with one another. My love of writing is extremely helpful with my goal to be a professor.

That’s my take on the creative lifestyle. If anyone is reading, let me know what you think.  And here is the link to the video that I was referring to.

An Outlier in Success

Awhile ago, I made a post about the connection between a work’s success and luck. I talked about the fact that a successful work that becomes objectively successful tends to have well written characters, an interesting world and a well developed plot. And often times, all of this tied together with how sometimes luck often pushed these works into popularity? But what of the outliers? What about the really well made stories that just never to seem popular? Or, what about the works that seem rather lackluster but still reaches an insane amount of popularity?

In any formula, there is bound to be some outliers. This can be seen in the formula to success. But why? Well, lets start with a particular medium.  There are plenty of movies that reached a high level of popularity and a an abundance of money. One series that comes to mind is the Transformer series. Many people, critics and audience member alike, have picked fun at the series and not without reason. And yet, each movie in this series has gained it’s money back from production well into the hundreds of millions of dollars. When looking at the characters, it leaves quite a bit to be desired. The humans in the movie tend to be one note archetypes. The Transformers themselves aren’t any better. Several of theme are merely archetypes, some even offensively so. In regards to world building, it feels as if I, as an audience member, is completely disassociated with where the characters were, even though a lot of these places were completely grounded in the real world. And the plot felt like there was a tug of war between nothing happening and everything happening all at once with a lack of coherence.

So what happened to make this movie a success? It’s similar to what can make a good movie successful; luck. Sometimes, a movie that isn’t really that well written can get luck on it’s side to stay afloat or even become outright successful. An outlier in success shouldn’t always be seen as bad thing. The movie that becomes successful could be a first for a writer or director. They shouldn’t made to almost feel guilty for their success when they’re just coming into a style. This can also be said for a movie that doesn’t do well, but was written and directed well. It would be a shame to let this situation discourage a truly creative mind from making more works. This applies to all forms of media, from books to movies and even TV shows.

All of this makes me introspect on myself and my works as well. If the novel I write isn’t successful monetarily, I shouldn’t let it discourage me from continuing on in my progress, especially if I know that my works was written to the best of my ability. And I hope that reaches someone else who is working on creating their own works.

The picture was found here!