Thursday, 12 March 2015
I lost my creative shit
Hullo. My name is Kathy B. Remember me?
I've been absent from the blogosphere for a while. Due to the nature of the internet, and the boundless quantity of half-amusing, engaging content available, I'm not going to assume that you will have noticed my absence. But I have, and so it matters, even if just a little, and just to me.
The love of writing, the love of that writing being read: making people chuckle on a mediocre Thursday when they're meant to be running reports at work, making people think about stuff, inspiring people to do wonderful things like CARTWHEEL BECAUSE IT IS BLOODY AWESOME, just the marvellous reality that I can throw some letters onto a page or at the internet and potentially make a small, positive difference to myself or to another human being, is a love that manifests itself within the depths of my grubby soul. It's an integral part of who I am. And it keeps me sane. For me, there's no greater solace or saviour from mediocrity than sitting by the sea and scrawling my little heart out, filling page upon page of my latest battered notebook with words and sentences so hurried that I can barely decipher them afterwards.
I find the journey from head spark to literary explosion completely captivating. I have an idea, and with little conscious contemplation, it spirals. It spews out of me like dinner after two bottles of white wine (you're welcome), and I'm like, 'WOW, I just wrote this thing. Shit.' It's a certain kind of magic...Right? Or if it isn't, and it's just late and I'm a bit delirious (I appreciate this scenario is totally feasible), I'm basically saying that writing is my one fierce passion and it has always served me well. At least, almost always.
I need to write as much as I want to write... So when, as I have done many times over the past month, I'm staring at a list of half-decent ideas that I've excitedly scribbled down during whirlwind moments of all-encompassing inspiration, and I can't, or at least I feel like 'I JUST CAN'T BLOODY WRITE!', well, it's a total fucking minefield. I don't need to explain how frustrating it is as a creator, one who really needs to create to remain a civilised and happy human, to feel completely stripped of all ability to do so, because I imagine that if you're still reading this post, you've probably lost your shit at some point too. You know of the bizarre confidence crisis and the unnecessary self-loathing that comes with it. You know of the comparisons you start making to the 197865341 'AH-MAY-ZIN' writers/artists/musicians you stalk online who are 'just so much BETTER AT LIFE' than you. You know those feelings. They know those feelings too. Congratulations: welcome to the human experience. We're all in this together! I'm pretty sure the cast of High School Musical wrote a song about it.
See, I've thought a lot about this over the past few weeks (aka tonight), and that's exactly what this is all about...Not High School Musical (that would be a slightly weird conclusion), but being human. It's just inevitable, isn't it? We can't expect to bask in an eternal ray of easy-peasy-creative-squeezy sunshine. We can't expect to be at our very best all of the time. We can't expect to never have to rediscover or nurture a skill or talent. We can't expect to never have to really search within ourselves or the world around us for that moment of all-encompassing inspiration within which everything aligns and we have this grand idea that we can giddily gallop off into the sunset with.
Perhaps the secret to resolving a creative rut is to embrace it. Welcome it with open arms. Write through it; you might realise after penning 'a really shitty piece', that it wasn't actually that bad at all. Write about it in the hope that it will dissolve as you type. (Oh, hullo.) If it's the only thought you've got in your head and it turns into a slightly strange rambly mess, then so be it. It's a rambly mess that people are going to relate to. It's something that makes you write again. Something that puts things into perspective and makes you feel a little bit silly. Something that you'll totally ignore next time. But still, it's something.
And if you can't write through it or write about it, don't write anything at all. Just wait, patiently. Be a bit frustrated if you will, but know that the magic (which may or may not be actual magic), will come back to you, I promise. For as long as you're out in the real world, and you're seeing and thinking and feeling and loving and doing, how could it not?