Approach to Bringing Back Your Creative Spark

June 5, 2023 0 Comments

I haven’t written words for a long time. My head doesn’t even whisper to me, as it does lazily when I take a shower or fall asleep. The notepad on my phone where I write essay ideas is (mostly) empty, replaced by an unrelated shopping list and a few passwords that I can never remember and books that I hope to read. I don’t know when The switch stopped working, when The Inspiration darkened a little. I write when I need to, only when I need to. And without the things I write, I exist as is, not to be remembered. Doomscrolling Twitter is just easier now. And if you double-tap on a photo Of Adele in British Vogue, it will trigger a serotonin burst or two. I can sit in the not-known and look at the world as far away from me as possible.

I know it sounds sad. And it’s okay. Sometimes this is how creativity works. We are caught in a overflow that covers all our edges, and our hearts are not there to action. Feeling uninspired is as much a valid emotion as the feeling of Innovation itself. I like to believe that the absence of something makes the presence of something the best development in the world over time.

Feeling uninspired is as much a valid emotion as the feeling of Innovation itself. I like to believe that the absence of something makes the presence of something the best development in the world over time.

Today, however, I want to write about how the search for creativity, the bones of it, is about redefining and remembering who you are.

Creativity is defined. It’s vanity. It is excruciating and hideous and all that is beautiful. Everyone is creative because we all aspire to know our own existence. We want to know who we are. The difficult part of losing the will to understand it is that we have to let go of who we once were. Writing it down is sometimes painful. And I experience moments when I don’t want to look in the mirror.

I think I’m having a hard time explaining this correctly. But the loss of creative motivation makes me feel like a bunch of skin and organs. In recent times, I have changed. And I’m afraid that one Version of myself has somehow come out of this experience, while another version is climbing the walls to get out.

I recently discovered recent times flow syndrome via Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead Podcast. She discussed with Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, her recent article in the Washington Post: “Why this stage of the recent times makes us so anxious.”

They discuss how people experience emotional forecasting errors. Basically, people are not good at predicting emotions. Since we have been going through the movements of the recent times, it has been difficult to predict when we will be able to celebrate and come out of the fog. Thus, we end up feeling constantly hurt and confused. A beautiful psychological thing called “Surge Capacity” allowed us to get through the first Phase and the immediacy of the crisis made many people incredibly creative. This happened to me. I started a Newsletter. I wrote feverishly every day about what we were going through. I was so eager to figure out what was going on, Writing became intensive therapy. We worked together. We sang music from the balcony windows and wrote music. We burned great expectations and wavered in a pool of hope.

Creativity is defined. It’s vanity. It is excruciating and hideous and all that is beautiful. Everyone is creative because we all aspire to know our own existence. We want to know who we are.

And then this other thing happened. Everything continued to be uncertain. We were tired, withdrawn. Powerless to control the narrative. We no longer knew what to do to improve everything, so we were looking for a way to escape.

My escape because I can’t travel or run away became social media. I have never been so addicted to my phone and I have fumbled in other people’s lives to escape mine. I also post updates about my life, but I always wonder what the purpose of all this is. Am I screaming into a void? Why can’t I hold on to a book? Why can’t I rely on pen and paper? Where is the root of my imagination? And who will I become without her?

I recently read the Midnight Library by Matt Haig. Reading, like writing, has been something that I have neglected recently and this book has thrown me into a whirlwind of feelings. There are no spoiler warnings here, other than a quote that resonated with me (author’s note: but please read this book right away).

Here’s the quote that jumped out: “you forget who you are. By becoming everyone, you become no one.”

I love it when quotes in books put a figurative mirror directly on my face, forcing me to look deep into my own soul. I was there going through the first book I could focus on in the last six months and I finally felt a sense of personal revelation. For once, don’t type through images of strangers, but look directly into the deepest Fragment of myself. I had spent so many months getting lost in other people’s lives that I had barely paid attention to my own. And with that, I had lost myself imagining what it would be like to be everyone. Without my creativity, I would not have become a person.

Author’s note before continuing: Social media also makes me happy. I’ve met the most awesome people on this stinking app called Instagram and I think it’s spurring my creativity here and there. I can look for things that inspire me and I can write my feelings on messages if I need to. I’m just saying That Instagram also makes the world overwhelming. It is easy to get lost in its numbness and comparative dynamism. Originality, simple things, float in their deaf and happy existence.

I had spent so many months getting lost in other people’s lives that I had barely paid attention to my own. And with that, I had lost myself imagining what it would be like to be everyone. Without my creativity, I would not have become a person.

Anyway, I digress. That’s where Robin Dunbar comes in. As a professor at The University Of Oxford, he discovered that people are hardwired to know only 150 people, because that was the average size of hunter-gatherer communities. Therefore, our brain cannot stand to “know” so many people on social networks. For this, we aspire more than ever to personal communication.

Among many other things. Personal Communication. Escape. Clarity. Fleeting and simple beauty. Chern. Words on Paper. I believe that self-reflection, writing/painting/singing/going through how things work, can give us parts of ourselves that we have never known. But we have to plan time to get there. A great reminder of who we are paves the way for this. I haven’t been able to find this field open for a while, but I feel it coming back as I slowly try to give up social media and find a place for myself in the “normal” world. I’m getting there.

From what I’ve learned, I’m not sure I have any insightful tips for finding the creative elements we’ve lost. I think the sure start is the realization itself. That we are changing and that the world is changing and that sometimes change makes it difficult to be inventive. By accepting the emptiness that we feel, the imaginary loss of the recent times and the moments that we were never allowed to have, the minutes that we could not create, we can heal. Maybe it’s a little trick of creativity: accepting ourselves as we accept the things that make us the most human.

Here’s an uninspired list of things that make me human to get you started: I haven’t called my grandmother in a while and I better do it. I’m territorial when it comes to sharing pizzas. I am deeply neurotic about cleanliness. My empathy sometimes hurts. Actually, I hate being naked. I feel more beautiful when I am surrounded by water. I always feel guilty about what I eat. I have terrible taste in music and I expect too much from my friends. I love deeply. I hate taking up too much space as much as I like being seen.

So, that was a hard list to write. But even a little heel of self-reflection helped me, figuratively speaking, to keep my toes on the floor (I’m sitting on my kitchen chair right now, like a pretzel). Despite everything, I feel centered and open. And I think, maybe … I could write a little. And you know what?! I just wrote 1,300 words during this last session! Progress!

How can we be creative beyond social media? How can we go outside so that we don’t try to be like everyone else?

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