Navigating the Complex Landscape of Creativity

assorted color bricks

I’ve always had a burning passion to create things. From my early childhood stacking blocks into structures, constructing with Duplos and later Legos both guided and freestyle, I’ve always appreciated the act of building. I’d even create fake laptop computers on construction paper by drawing a screen on one half and drawing a custom keyboard on the other half. It seems silly now, but it shows that I had no compunction about acting on my ideas and realizing them.  

Having a passion for creation, I believe, is an innate human desire. It doesn’t always mean building with blocks, writing a story, or drawing a picture, though. There are so many kinds of creativity I’ve discovered over the years. On top of crafts, creating melodies is another creative form that I discovered at an early age. I’d hammer out ditties on my Fisher Price play piano, while also playing some from old songbooks. I took piano lessons, but didn’t take them seriously enough because for me it was all play and it became too much work.

In any case, it’s probably for the best I ditched seriously pursuing music, because I found that I never had the patience to compose music in a traditional way. I was much more content writing words. They came more naturally to me than most of my peers. Unfortunately, I often find my words having limitations in expressing certain ideas. 

So, did I make a major mistake in becoming a writer rather than a composer or musician? Actually, I find I have a burning passion for writing more than composing. This is in spite of the fact I often hum along to themes which spontaneously compose themselves in my head. Perhaps, I should find some way to record them. Sadly, I usually forget them as soon as I come up with them.

Many of my poems are just as spontaneous as these original themes. Even more interesting, I believe that they are related to those little ditties. Some of my best poems were written to a little ditty in my head. Yet, I’ve never considered myself a serious poet, either. Of course, the massive collection of poetry that I’ve accumulated since 2002, proves that I am to more than just a casual degree. 

But like the little ditties that pop into my head, when I write a poem, I don’t sit there and construct it. I don’t really compose poems at all. They just sort of happen, with words attaching themselves to a melody. Just as I don’t compose the little musical snippets in my head, the poems simply happen. When I try to write a poem without musical accompaniment, it either comes out disjointed or just reads like prose haphazardly broken into free verse or forced to rhyme out of a need for form.

Still, I find my true passion is in the composition of prose. I enjoy tying together complex ideas in ways that I haven’t seen done before. Then, I try to share them in as clear and a concise a way as I can. Sometimes, a poem does that better than prose, but more often than not, the prose is the way I lean towards with my writing.

I was born to be a writer, and I know that. I don’t regret pursuing prose writing as my chief endeavor at all. But, I wonder sometimes what my brain is doing trying to stretch me out as a petty ditty composer and poet. While poems and songs obviously can be built, I don’t build them. They are raw material I can build from, yet I just capture what I can of them whenever it is seemingly convenient for me. So many go free without me even justifying their existence.

It’s probably a mistake that I’ve never tried to create something more around the poems and ditties that I create. I’ve built a good foundation with my singsongy scribblings, but I have not truly recognized what I’m trying to build with them exactly. But, as I’ve found, it’s much better to just let your passion fuel your creation, even if you don’t quite yet understand the purpose of what you’ve created. 

You have to learn to embrace your creativity, even with the current product doesn’t seem to serve a purpose. It’s all a part of the creative process; you need to have missteps and misfires with your art to develop something greater in time.

Sometimes, passion alone can create some pretty cool things. While I focus on prose, I do occasionally let my poetic side free when I’m feeling stunted creatively. Turning to verse helps me express things I may be struggling with in prose. So, in that way, it’s constructive for me to do something that I’m not crafting quite so precisely. It may not always be “good” or fit for publishing, but it’s better to create something than nothing. It’s also important to keep your passion for creating from going cold.

It’s also important to remember that building and creating is a human right. If people tell you what you create is no good, acknowledge that they have the right to their opinion, but don’t take it hard. The only way to get better at creating is to create. 

Plenty of highly successful creatives took decades of failures to come to the conclusions about their art that led to their successes. Then, even when creatives reach success, it doesn’t mean they can’t still fail again. But, without failure, what value is there is success?

So, the next thing you build or create something, even if it fails, cherish it. When you do build something successful, you’ll look back and realize you never would’ve gotten there without the things that didn’t just quite work. The best part of being human is we have this ability to be creative. So, rather than waste it, put it to good use.

~ Amelia <3

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy.
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