Making time for creativity

It’s coming up on the end of the no-TV month for Mark and me.  We’ve been talking about keeping the tv in the closet for a longer time, and probably just watching some tv on our computers if we really want to (I’ve been hardcore missing watching the rest of this past season of Grey’s Anatomy).

I never considered myself to be a creative person.  I remember that in 6th grade, I’d literally cry every single week because we’d have a creative writing assignment due, and I didn’t know what to write about.  I didn’t feel like I had a personality at all — I felt like my upbringing stamped out individualism in favor of cultural conformity and a personality of being very studious and quiet.  Creative things were a waste of time or for when you were super, super bored in the summer and there wasn’t anything to study.  The idea that I wasn’t creative was so ingrained in me that it wasn’t until Mark commented that I was being creative for me to realize that I wasn’t as bland as I thought I was.

I read the Accidental Creative earlier this year, and one of the main topics was that it was hard for creative people to be creative at all times when we have very structured workdays.  I thought that was a good point, but I didn’t think it really applied to me.  I only recently realized that I was structuring my free time in ways that wouldn’t really allow for creativity.  I was basically only bored when I was driving to and from work, and I had a lot of creative thoughts then (and wrote so many blog posts in my head!!).  Otherwise, I was busy with chores or friends or interneting in general.

After we ditched the tv, Mark and I both overscheduled all of our nights with different activities with friends.  Tonight, it was rock climbing.  Last night, it was our weekly D&D session.  Tomorrow, it’s a skirt-making party.  However, normally, one of us would turn on the tv after we came home.  Now, we’ve been kind of wandering around for five minutes and then picking up a chore or something interesting that caught our eye.  It’s funny how removing the tv made me literally see our apartment and the things it was filled with in a totally different way.

So far this month, I’ve done so many creative things that I wouldn’t normally do.  I drew cupcakes, doughnuts, vegetables, and ice cream cones for my talk slides.  I also tried experimenting with design and colors to make my own slide deck.  I went to the fabric store and got the necessary things to make a skirt!  I didn’t think I was inspired by anything this year to make a cosplay, but I had a couple of friends who did and that made me jealous so I’m making a Ghostbusters cosplay for GenCon next week.  I crafted a bunch of cool things for an upcoming Harry Potter party, and I can’t wait to share them with people.  I’ve been writing so much more whether it’s letters, blog posts, or just notes to myself on inspiring things I want to do.

I know this creative blast won’t last forever, but it’s been so good for making me just happier in life and feel more emotionally fulfilled by my own actions instead of relying on getting that from other people.  I was worried that I wasn’t good at being creative or that haters would tear down my attempts, but I’m really glad that I got over it and decided to just start somewhere.  My mind has been whirring with ideas, and it’s been so fun letting that side take over and not feel guilty.  I feel so energized because I’m shifting the balance towards creating more things than consuming them.  I’m really thankful for all of the people around me who have been inspiring me to be more awesome in drawing (Amy/@sailorhg), cosplaying (Sharon/@sharonw, Helena/@n3rdgir1), speaking (Anna/@OssAnna16), painting (Snow), visual design (Karly/@karlyANelson, Rob), and party planning (Ashley, Amanda).  Mad love to Nayani (@_9knee) and Mark (@diablomarcus) for always pushing me to try new things and slow down so I can interact with the world around me.  <3

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