Creativity is difficult. There’s a certain knack to it, and right now I’m not feeling that knack. I’m writing in a space where it’s easy to regurgitate ideas that are uninspired and unoriginal. I feel the temptation to use a stale turn of phrase, you know, one like “turn of phrase.” Now, I’ve been a better writer, a better thinker, and a better communicator at times, but I’m rusty. I’ve developed habits and shifted around patterns in life so I wouldn’t need to write as often. I’m out of practice. Where there was once a creative outlet I felt comfortable in, there’s now expression lacking an outlet and a fear of writing because I no longer feel competent.
Back in college, I drummed in a few bands. I wasn’t particularly good, but I was confident and comfortable while playing. Moving around after school made finding space and time for drumming difficult, and eventually it shrunk from a significant part of my life to a hobby taken up on rare occasion. Music, like writing, became what I did in additional time, and the older I got, the less of that there was. It’d be easy to let creativity leave my life completely, to rearrange my days so the only tasks I complete are those required of me. But despite all the barriers, I know I need creative action, not for the sake of those reading, but for the health of my own character. I don’t need to be the best artist in the world, but I need to take that hidden self from within me, wrestle with it, and send it into the world. The first obstacle on that path is being ok with not being ok.
Practice isn’t fun, but it is what life is built on.