Imagination

I struggle to balance my “real” life and my creative life, and have ever since… well, since I figured I was an adult and needed to focus on developing a career. I know now that careers in the arts can definitely still count, but I’ve just really seen that, so it wasn’t being approached as an opportunity when I was really into photography 20 years ago, or writing 10 years ago. You always had to have something else, a way to make money and provide insurance. And that, in my case, was the death of my imagination.

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Since I really focused on settling down, having a career, buying a house, having a kid, etc etc, I feel like most of my thoughts are centered around stability, finances, time management, and anything involving the kid. Which is fine! And more than typical, I’m sure. But even when I started a daily writing routine this year, I’ve struggling on what to write about. I can get my butt in the chair, no problem. But then, I just sit there.

Being around kids has helped me see the light side of life. I love hearing their conversations and ideas, and sometimes it sparks ideas in my own mind. Even if the thought isn’t substantial enough for a story, it at least shows me another way of thinking and gives me a chance to let my own “heavy” thoughts go.

Some friends and I are starting a critique-free art exploration group next month. We want to create just for the fun and beauty and self-expression of creating. We want to write, paint, sing, draw, sculpt, act, without thinking of what others will say, or how we can try to monetize something we enjoy doing just for the act of doing it.

I’m really looking forward to this. I’m hoping it changes my way of thinking that every creative endeavor I enjoy needs to make me money. Because I’ve been in that mindset for too long now, and it’s not healthy, and it’s not helping.

How do you let your imagination roam free? Does it ever lead to more freedom in your creative projects?

2 comments

  1. Well, there had been a time when I too thought that maybe creativity might be a career. That dream has long gone. They say this is the best time to be a writer, because you don’t need to get your work in the hands of a choosy publisher, but this is not my experience. There has never been so much competition, and success has never weighted on the author’s money so much.

    So, I write because I love it. I still try to get my writing into the hands of readers, but that’s not the main part. If that were the main part, I’d be a very depressed, disappointed author 😉

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    • I write because I love pushing myself to create stories, even if it’s been harder lately. But yes, I agree with you and I’m glad to hear it come from someone else, because I was feeling kind of negative about it. It might be nice to have the freedom to publish your own book, but the work of promoting it and getting eyes and fair reviews and selling it all yourself seems neverending, and that it would take over all your time to write.

      Like

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