Monday, April 25, 2005

Creativity Gone?

I can’t help but wonder if I have done something in the last so many years that has resulted in a lower level of creativity. Or was it something beyond my control, like age.

It used to be that my mind was over-flowing with story ideas. Throughout college, I would forego taking notes during lecture because I had to get the stories out of my head and onto paper. Often I’d only write a page or two before losing interest in the idea, but there was no end to new ones.

In my first post-college job, I would find myself jotting down stories on scrap paper when my supervisor wasn’t paying attention. I wrote whole stories on 4” x 6” pieces of paper intended for phone messages.

I can’t remember exactly when it happened. I must have been 22 or 23. In retrospect, it seems like someone cranked the handle on a faucet. If the creativity hasn’t been turned off altogether, it’s limited to an occasional drip here or there.

Was it the mind-numbing job in retail management?

Could it have been the drinking?

Or was it a hormonal change into adulthood?

How could the very workings of my brain have changed so drastically? Now I ache to be able to turn the faucet handle back in the other direction and have the creativity pour forth. I’d settle for a slow trickle at this point.

2 comments:

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I personally wouldn't blame it on drinking or recreational drugs. And you certainly WERE a creative child. I'm sure it's in there, still! :-)

jo(e) said...

I had a similar experience. I wrote all the time when I was a kid. Then I stopped writing altogether during my 20s. Then when I was about 30, I started having friends who were poets and such, and I started writing again.

Looking back, I am not completely sure what stopped things. I think part of it was something emotional. It was when I was 30 that I started working some emotional issues, growing up and figuring out who I was -- and that kind of released whatever the block was and got me thinking in creative ways again.

Being around creative people is one thing that almost always inspires me. Your Mom is one of the people who really encouraged me to write through painful issues in my life -- and that helped in all kinds of ways.

Time -- or lack of it -- is probably the biggest thing I struggle with now. I have to consciously make time for writing. That is hard to do, but I know how important it is.