Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.
Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with books on algebra etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the creative bug is just a wee voice telling you, “I’d like my crayons back, please.”
So you’ve got the itch to do something. Write a screenplay, start a painting, write a book, turn your recipe for fudge brownies into a proper business, whatever. You don’t know where the itch came from, it’s almost like it just arrived on your doorstep, uninvited. Until now you were quite happy holding down a real job, being a regular person…
You don’t know if you’re any good or not, but you’d think you could be. And the idea terrifies you. The problem is, even if you are good, you know nothing about this kind of business. You don’t know any publishers or agents or all these fancy-schmancy kind of folk. You have a friend who’s got a cousin in California who’s into this kind of stuff, but you haven’t talked to your friend for over two years…
Besides, if you write a book, what if you can’t find a publisher? If you write a screenplay, what if you can’t find a producer? And what if the producer turns out to be a crook? You’ve always worked hard your whole life, you’ll be damned if you’ll put all that effort into something if there ain’t no pot of gold at the end of this dumb-ass rainbow…
Heh. That’s not your wee voice asking for the crayons back. That’s your outer voice, your adult voice, your boring & tedious voice trying to find a way to get the wee crayon voice to shut the hell up.
Your wee voice doesn’t want you to sell something. Your wee voice wants you to make something. There’s a big difference. Your wee voice doesn’t give a damn about publishers or Hollywood producers.
Go ahead and make something. Make something really special. Make something amazing that will really blow the mind of anybody who sees it.
If you try to make something just to fit your uninformed view of some hypothetical market, you will fail. If you make something special and powerful and honest and true, you will succeed.
The wee voice didn’t show up because it decided you need more money or you need to hang out with movie stars. Your wee voice came back because your soul somehow depends on it. There’s something you haven’t said, something you haven’t done, some light that needs to be switched on, and it needs to be taken care of. Now.
So you have to listen to the wee voice or it will die… taking a big chunk of you along with it.
They’re only crayons. You didn’t fear them in kindergarten, why fear them now?
“…I want to talk about creativity. My contention is that creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.” Sir Ken Robinson
Here at Gapingvoid Central, we are huge fans and we’re terribly upset.
Here’s a man with a pretty conventional, academic, think-tanky kind of job, yet because he believed in its cause so passionately, he took it to the sky. And since we could all tell, we went to the sky with him.
The lesson here for all of us is: a great life is a result of what we put into it, our own effort and our own enthusiasm, not some mythological, third-party abstract quality that lies outside of it.
Own it. Make it your own. Stop waiting for something else to come along.