A big part of creativity is being vulnerable.
When the work you’re producing is not at the level you’re content with it may be because of one of 2 reasons.
The first is that you’re working in a medium that you’re so used to that you need to dig deeper in order to produce something with an element of vulnerability.
The second is that you’re working in a new, less familiar medium and you haven’t reached that level of comfort where you’re able to be vulnerable with what you create.
As someone who writes a daily blog, has journalled for over a decade, has had various lifestyle blogs over the past 8 years and also writes poetry, I’m quite familiar with expressing vulnerability through my words.
However, I’ve recently been working on taking and styling photos which is something new for me.
I’m still finding my way with taking photots which is why it often feels difficult. But instead of pushing myself to create something interesting, I find myself holding back.
It’s easier just to do something simple instead of putting myself into my work. That takes vulnerability.
There are levels to creativity.
I beleive that I’m able to convey vulnerability through my writing. But as I work with other mediums I find that I’m much less free-flowing. My work is rigid and sometimes uninteresting.
It’s not neccisarily bad but in the creative process I don’t feel like I’m experimenting or pushing the boundary
I’m a personal journal/diary writer. It’s my trade of 10+ years and from doing that writing in first person using ‘I’ is something that comes naturally to me.
But when writing in a space for other people to read I’ve started to realise that unless I’m writing for you to get to know me then I should start using you or we.
And sometimes that means writing and then re-writing. But it’s not just about the use of I. It’s about having this space not feel like my journal (minus names and places).
But sometimes the use of I is necessary because I like to throw in bits of my life here and there so you know where I’m coming from rather than just throwing out things that are ‘helpful’.
I recently found a scrap of paper with a few sentences scrawled on it. I’d forgotten about this particular moment but as I read my words it all came flooding back.
I’d written down some thoughts about a conversation I had with someone over lunch. It was from around 4 years ago which reminded me how quickly things can change because I’m living a totally different life now.
But what really surprised me is how clearly, I could remember that moment.
This is one of the reasons I love to write, I’m able to make notes of things that are meaningful to me and look back on them years later. What’s even better is that I remember how I felt.
As great as photo’s are, they could have never captured this moment the way that words have.
I hold the belief that even if it all falls apart, everything will always be okay.
Which means that I often don’t give things as much effort as I could or should because I’m aware that everything will be okay, no matter the outcome.
When we take advantage of our circumstances life has this way of reminding us that we should make time for gratitude.
It might come in the form of something ‘going wrong’ or having to deal with an un-ideal circumstance. It’s in those moments that we can end up getting frustrated at life for dealing us such a poor hand or we can use it as a growth point.
I’m currently experiencing…
It’s difficult because…
It is teaching me…
Moving forward I will…
My writing habit was born from journaling which explains why I write with such confidence.
I’m used to writing about my thoughts on life and things I’ve experienced, in fact I’m incredibly comfortable doing it.
Granted a blog is more open than a journal but the practice is the same.
It’s been more than a decade and since I first started journaling and more than 7 years since I started my first blog.
And looking back over 10 years, my writing has improved so much. I can’t promise I’m the best at it but I’m confident that I’m better than I used to be.
Best of all, it’s something I love to do.
Music has played a significant part in my life from a young age. 90s and early 00s music brings back memories of childhood, growing up and my sisters.
But it’s only in the past couple of years that I’ve started listening to albums from beginning to end. Nothing compares to falling in love with an album that you can play without skipping a track. I think it’s quite amazing the way that songs can tell stories. The way it feels to hear the opening track and the way the closing track is sometimes upbeat but sometimes soft and slow.
I wanted to share a few albums that I happily listen to from beginning to end, feel free to share the albums you like in the comments.
Girlhood – The Preatures
Up for the downstroke – Parliament
Heard you missed me, well I’m back – sly and the family stone
Care for me – Saba
an XTRA UUGLY Mixtape – Duckwrth
America eats it’s young – Funkadelic
Dirty Computer – Janelle Monáe
Isolation – kali uchis
In a million years – Last dinosaurs
I think I’ve always been a bit of a daydreamer but also someone who can spend long amounts of time in their own thoughts and their own company.
I did that so freely as a child and it’s only really as I got older that it felt like it became an issue. I fell into trying to be someone outside of who I am and other people would comment negatively on me simply being myself.
As much as I can be so many different things, the part of me that just likes to sit and get lost in creating always remains.
Just stick with what you know and don’t explore anything new.
That is the voice of my anxious self which sometimes dominates as my inner monologue.
I’ve learnt to not listen to that terrible advice anymore because when I did, I was miserable. It’s quite fascinating when the thing that you feel you need to do in order to feel ‘safe’ also causes you a lot of problems.
I remember thinking how strange it was that despite doing everything ‘right’ things weren’t going so well.
Then I discovered the thought/idea that I could change myself internally which would ripple outwards and cause my life to change. I remember thinking that it must have been a sort of magic that that was possible and sometimes I still refer to it in that way for fun but also because I don’t actually have a strong knowledge of how the mind or neurology (along with all the other ologies) work so it may as well be magic.
Fear of the new is something that still effects the way I live but it’s different now. I don’t give the voice of my anxieties centre stage as often and I practise little methods that work for me.
It’s like feel the fear and do it anyway for people that fear the little things.
There I stood on a Monday night in a room full of strangers, in a city that was slowly becoming more and more familiar.
I was there to do something I never thought I’d get to do. I never thought there was a chance that my favourite singer from New Zealand who now lives in New York would ever come to England.
But she did and so the day the tickets went on sale I bought one.
That was over 6 months ago.
And on Monday night I finally got to see her live.
Her voice was beautiful, she was beautiful and it felt special being there as she performed songs about love, war and death.
The same songs that I had listened to on buses, trains and walks.
The songs that picked me up and songs that I sat with when I felt down and needed comfort.
Her show ended with an old favourite and the crowd clapped and sang along.
I left full of gratitude for the art that was shared that night and that good feeling that comes from hearing the songs you love.
So there we were 2 strangers on the train sitting in first class. The train had come to a standstill as there were some issues at the train ahead.
We heard a voice over the loudspeaker suggesting that depending on our destination we should either get off the current train and travel via a different route or get the bus.
Based on where I was headed the bus was my only option and as people started to leave the train I began talking to a stranger who looked just as inconvenienced as I felt.
So we got chatting, left the train and got the bus together as we were heading in the same location.
Even though we’d just met, there was a level of comfort/familiarity as though we weren’t strangers, as if we were already friends.
Our conversation was pretty open but we were by no means BFFs, we were instead 2 strangers caught in an inconvenient situation who perhaps both thought that it might be easier to have someone else to get through it with.
We reached the point of parting around 45 minutes after we met and just like that the friendship was over.