Liberation of CreativityPosted: April 7, 2015
I’m finding a nice groove lately now that I’ve returned to my fiction regularly. When my mind journeys through the Grey Empire, I find many other facets of life fall into place: finding time to cook, homeschool, and garden. Paradoxically, all of these become easier when writing is on my brain. Despite the time “cost” to writing, the other parts of my job as a Radical Homemaker are a well-deserved break. A pause to let my brain catch up. A time to let the voices in my head (characters, not schizophrenia, honest!) inspire me. And, of course, to appreciate how ridiculously awesome doing this “job” is.
Being creative is the best way to find out who you are. The ego stands apart from the world. We don’t know exactly how it become self-aware, but somehow there is an “I”, an agent, which emerges from the collective genetic, sensory, and other stimuli. A sum far greater than its parts.
Yet much of the modern world is all about destroying that agency. Governments want their citizens to act predictably as economic agents. Industry wants easily instructable peons to serve as cogs. Marketers want to tell you what “you” want. It’s very easy to slip away, let the walls of the self erode, and become a passive consumer.
When you create, even if you never share it, you are doing something. The self is flowing from inwards-to-outwards, instead of the reverse path in passive consumption. Drawing fairies, whittling wood, planting flowers, cooking without a recipe, or writing might not seem that powerful a thing but it is incredibly powerful – a kind of mental self-defense.
The hope of all creatives, of course, is to move beyond that foundation. To create something that itself is consumed, inspires others, or changes the world in broad cultural, scientific, or political ways. But the foundation is key.
You have to create.
Just do it.