Self-pity breeds creativity and I want more

Posted by on February 11, 2011 at 8:26 pm.

When people ask me what I do for a living, I often consider lying. I’m a TV show producer. Barista. Novelist.

Journalist doesn’t sound as interesting.

It’s not that I don’t love my career—I really, really do—but I can also recognize where it fails me. I was creative once; able to string together short stories, poems and several first chapters for prospective novels (sometimes you quit while you’re ahead). But when you spend your days writing about city council meetings and police reports, who has the motivation to spend your nights writing even more? I barely have the time to offer enough coverage of my towns as it is, so any extra time writing should really be spent as a journalist. Not as a novelist.

I remember writing creatively through high school and community college when I felt particularly emotional about something. It didn’t matter if I was happy, angry or anything else. No matter the extreme I felt, that emotion helped me explore my creative side. That’s how I found inspiration. But when you’re a working-to-middle class kid whose worst problems are girl-related, everything is put into perspective when you meet someone with real problems. And as a journalist, I meet those people every day.

I blame my loss of creativity on my loss of self-pity. I admire artists who find inspiration through the mundane and the extreme. During a concert on New Year’s Eve at Blueberry Hill, I watched a twentysomething woman paint a beautiful mural of a DJ with flashing lights and swinging dreadlocks. Was she able to channel creative energy by soaking in the music and atmosphere? Or was she simply talented? I can’t relate, even though I want to. I can only admire.

So what am I to do? Maybe if I feel sorry for myself for losing my creative juices, then the building self-pity will summon a new and innovative thought for me to explore. Or maybe I can keep blogging and hope for the best.

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