With any kind of creative art, it's common to experience a lack of ideas or a complete block all together. However, I've always found inspiration just about anywhere, from my backyard, my own life experiences, and the crazy dreams that I tend to have while asleep. So I'm not necessarily beating my head against a wall for the sake of getting the wheels to turn. Rather, it's allowing others to see the end product.
When I was young (about ten or eleven) I can remember being extremely defensive about my writing; I didn't want anyone to read it, nor did I want anyone to talk about it.
At thirteen, I began writing poetry, and I only shared those poems with one other person. At the time, I was extremely vulnerable and believed that he was one of the few that understood where I was coming from. To this day, no one else has read them.
And even just recently, I wrote a poem for my grandparents fiftieth anniversary and read it out loud during the toast at their party. I was terrified, so much that I was literally shaking and crying.
Looking back on it, a lot of my resistance comes from my fear of being vulnerable. When I write something, I try my best to put everything I have into it. There are some pieces that involve being nearly transparent, as if I am allowing another to see into my soul. To put it simply, it's like being emotionally naked, which sometimes makes me want to run away and hide.
Yet, I also realize that I have been given a precious gift; one that has the capability to teach people something and perhaps someday make a change. As scary as it was to write my last post about the underline issue with dating, deep down I knew that so many people needed it. We're constantly led to believe that romance is the key to absolute happiness, and that it's going down the drain because few seem to care about it anymore. I wanted to offer a different perspective, something that was realistic, but not incredibly negative.
My other issue with creativity is that I tend to second-guess myself while I'm going through the process. It's not necessarily, "am I good enough?" but rather, "Is this believable and will it make any sense to those that read it?" Whenever I did workshop for any of my writing classes, the big thing that always came up was plausibility (whether or not it was realistic). So now whenever I'm working on something new, that's always the question going through my head. Even when I come up with ideas, nine times out of ten I don't put them out on paper right away because I'm trying to figure out exactly what the story will be.
What I have to remind myself of is that there is a little thing called editing and revising; it may not be near perfect during the first go-around, but that doesn't mean that it never will be. I need to get in the habit of just writing it down, instead of doing a little bit and then going back and seeing what can be changed. That's why it takes so me so long to finish whatever project I'm working on; I want to figure it all out, to have a perfect vision; and that's not the way it goes.
I'm currently in the process of submitting something for publication; as far as when that will happen, time will only tell.
I'm also thinking about new ways to branch out; I always thought that to write a memoir, you either had to be a lot older than twenty or many years worth of larger than life experiences (see either Miley Cyrus or Justin Beiber's autobiographies). But that's not the way I want to go about it; I would like to write a series of personal essays that focus on the small, but equally defining moments of my life. Many of them will be deep, and some of them I may just choose to keep in a folder for a while until I'm ready to be open about what happened. Either way, I believe in the power of writing down your own life story, and I plan on doing it; it's just going to be a little at a time.
When it comes to my own creative talents and gifts, I don't think they were given to me just for the sake of my own enjoyment. I can only hope that all of them will be a blessing to many, even if it's just in the smallest of ways. But if there's one thing I know for sure, it's that gifts are meant to be unwrapped, and in one way or the other, they're meant to shine.