Let Me Assure You – You Don’t Have Time To Be Creative

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So you have “decided” to be creative; to express yourself using that under utilized part of your intellect, soul and emotional discipline to “be creative”. I applaud this! Allow me to offer some advice which is most likely unwelcome and not sought after.

First off, allow me to explain why one would offer advice that is not sought after and probably unwelcome. After all, it is likely to be thought of as intrusive and therefor skimmed over and ignored, and my reputation as a nosy, arrogant jackass is likely to be enhanced. Thus, I have every reason to follow the logic of that and succumb to the rational conclusion that I should not offer this advice. So what is the compelling reason for doing so anyway?

I am selfish – and it is because I discovered something about me a relatively short time ago as lifetimes are measured. I am creative, always have been, and will be until I die. I am not the artsy-fartsy type. I don’t live and breath art, nor am I artistic per se. I am just me. But enough about me… or is it? Do allow me to meander on a bit before you come to the ultimate and inevitable conclusion stated in the second sentence of the second paragraph… .

You are already creative, have been all your life. Every day is an exercise in your God given, evolutionary derived creativity, and the resultant ability to survive and thrive. From the time you began to function as more than a collection of cells which drive your autonomous body functions, you have been creative. You listened to your environment when you were in the womb, and responded in your own unique way. You responded to you environment as a toddler, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually –as we all do– but in your own unique way. As an adolescent, a young adult, adult(and all the stages of adulthood up to this point). You have been and are creative.

Now that you have been clumped in with the rest of humanity and are utterly lacking in any ‘special’ trait… It is logically and rationally self-diminishing to ‘decide to be creative’. You are creative.

The distinction that it is important to make is that you are not only creative, but also special. You are unique in every way, and yet share enough commonality with the rest of us to have already contributed to the diversity of our collective survival! Yes…, creativity is one of the traits that got you here. To the point of ‘wanting to be creative’.

So what is it that I think you really want? You want ‘change‘. You want to ‘express‘. Good! It is about fucking time!

Lets examine that last sentence for a moment: The subject (‘It’) is you, and the objects are ‘change’ and ‘express’, those each being a noun and a verb respectively, are the things you want which is referred to earlier. The word ‘is’ indicates a state of existence perceived. The word ‘about’ is really just vernacular indicating a form of sarcasm(usually not really meant that way, but tossed in as off-hand encouragement). The word ‘fucking’ which is just vernacular(but effective in many cases) punctuation. And the word ‘time’ which is the object of the word ‘is’. Boil that all down and what you have is something like; “I have been waiting around for this situation to arise and I think you should act on it”. I could have said that, but it would not have really expressed what I thought. What I said is what I meant at the gut level. Read over both of those statements. Which one really reflects the ‘me’ that you know(or would guess that I am)? A rhetorical question really…

So what was the compelling reason behind that exercise? It does at this moment in time reflect not only what I think, but how. And you may learn about me that way. I want you to. And even more, I want to learn about you that way. Not using my method(words), but in whatever way you find to express not only what you think, but how!

There is one more thing about that sentence that I would like to focus on for just a few more intrusive moments: Time.

Moments…time… . The one thing that we all have in limited supply. I have already established by implication that you can’t ‘take the time’ to be creative because it is already part of who and what you are. But you can choose to allow yourself the time to express your creativity! That is what allows you to effect ‘change’ and to ‘express’ that change in your way.

I think the key is to understand that ‘creativity’ is very hard to compartmentalize into a ‘scheduled time’. It can be done of course, but I personally find it restrictive and constraining. The old saying of ‘when the spirit moves you'(or intellect or whatever you assign in place of sprit) applies, and that is the time you must allow yourself. A nine-to-five is part of life, and part of your structured creativity, but it is not an excuse to ‘not take a sick day’ in order to practice your creativity. It is not a reason to take off early without an ‘excuse’ other than for personal reasons. Allow yourself that time. And don’t explain it to anyone; it is your time! Take it when you want it!

Allow yourself to live! Take the time! I can tell you from some forty years of experience of not having done so that it might be the one thing I truly regret not having done. Time is yours, you own it. Yeah, there are responsibilities to others that must be met. But you owe (and I mean that literally) yourself the freedom to set those aside. And it would be a greater gift to all of us in the long run if you simply allowed yourself that one freedom. You don’t owe anyone your creativity, and yet we are all of us –as individuals as well as collectively– lesser beings if you don’t offer it. It is your gift to us.

And so I have proven, yet again, that I am an arrogant jack-ass, nosy and intrusive(please refer again to the second sentence in the second paragraph). This whole missive is about me. But not really.

It is about us: us as in you and me as individuals, about us as in all the divisions that set us apart into categories, us as in human beings. It is what we have to offer each other. We all have it. It is not up to me to be creative for you or about you. It is up to me to be selfish enough to think I might have something to offer others. And it is up to me to understand that without you, without all those other categories of people, without humanity…I would have nothing to be selfish about.

You see, the odd thing is that I can’t be selfish enough to value my own creativity without you, any of you, nor without all of you. Please don’t withhold that from me. I will accept it, learn from it and appreciate it… Please…

About Author:

Retired automation engineer (having had many roles leading up to that). Interested in agriculture, economics, cancer research, philosophy, embedded systems and SOC(System On Chip). Enjoy the family farm and my grandsons and playing around with Raspberry Pi and Arduino systems. A bit of web programming in Perl... growing plants.... and too many other things to list.

3 thoughts on “Let Me Assure You – You Don’t Have Time To Be Creative

  1. One of the reads you keep and re-read to remind yourself 1 of Wes “The Great” and 2 to learn to take time for yourself!

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