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The Curse of Creativity

“The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices that you make will shape your life forever.” (A Bronx Tale, 1993)

This stuck in my head. All those days when I did nothing, when I didn’t write, it came back to me. As a child I wrote. I wrote and I read until I ran out of things to write and read. By September, I had read all my school books over the summer holidays for the following year. I loved it. It was never a chore. School was never a chore for me. Reading and writing were never a chore.

I wrote poetry from age seven. Notebook after notebook crammed with ideas, poems and short stories. I wrote everything down. Anything that came into my mind, I wrote it down. I still have them all. All hidden away in a dusty basket in the attic. All those ideas, stories and plans. Dusty and forgotten. Exiled to the dark, damp attic.

As I got older, into my teenage years, my poetry and stories got more intense. My writing got more frequent and recognised. I wrote until I couldn’t write anymore. Notebooks, folders, envelopes, crammed with ideas and snippets. Notes, names, places, quotations, all written down, an explosion of ideas, my mind bursting with creativity. I had so much to say, so much to write, so much to get down on paper. So much to create, so many characters to breath life into. My fictional world was bursting at the seams. I struggled to control it. It kept coming, pouring out of me like an tumultuous rush.

Then it would stop. It would stop and go away, dormant, silent, quiet. My creative vortex would recede. I was left empty and uninspired.

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When I was sixteen, I discovered the curse of creativity. I discovered that this fire in my blood was not consistent. It wouldn’t always flow or switch on when instructed. It wouldn’t dance to my tune. It had conditions. Conditions of its own. This creativity was not subservient and not controllable. It was wild and unpredictable. It was untameable.

My life changed when I was seventeen. With it, my creativity seemed to dry up. It became sporadic, taking a back seat to other aspects of my life which now took priority. It lay dormant and waited, only to come in bursts and waves, followed by periods of drought and despair. I knew my capabilites, I knew what I could do but I just couldn’t do it.

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I studied English Literature and Archaeology in University. It encouraged me, it helped me but it still didn’t guarantee the constant flow I so wanted. I became aware that I would experience these waves, these bursts, these dry spells and I would have to work with them. I was creative, I was a creative and this, unfortunately was part of the package. These dry spells, this drought was part of the curse.

I’m a creative writer. That’s what I do best. I write creatively. I have seven half finished novels on my laptop. I intend them to be finished novels one day. I have so many characters in my head, different worlds and villages, various eras and situations, hundreds of scenarios and a world of crazy ideas. It’s all stuck in there. It’s all subject to this curse of creativity.

When Creativity Meets Social Media

Social media and blogging has added another layer to the cake. Although it’s a platform for business and creatives alike, it’s also a daunting place for people like me. I’m not from this new developing, escalating world of technology and SEO’s and URL’s and Domain Authority and everything else which I now have to learn. I’m not from this. This is alien to me.

I wrote on notebooks, with pens, on sheets of paper, on the back of envelopes, I pitched my ideas, I sent them in, they were either accepted or rejected. It was so different. I feel time warped and smothered in a world which is moving faster and more rapidly than I can learn. I have to learn the whole social media handbook. I have to move with the times. But it’s hard when your mind doesn’t think that way.

Creativity Gets More Complex

So I have to adapt, I have to embrace it. I have to, there’s nothing else to do. This new era of publishing and writing and followers and likes and all the other social media jargon will just have to become embedded into my creative world. It has to. This is what I’m supposed to do, this is the direction I’m supposed to take, the next step in the creative plan. It’s suddenly made my creativity harder to manage. There’s an added realm, a new curve to learn, a new piece to the puzzle.

This curse has suddenly got even more complicated.

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