How To Be Creative When You Really Don’t Want To

Because you’re depriving the world of your unique creations and I’m here with the gentle smack-upside-the-head.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand when people diss on how they aren’t creative.

Any people, much less my favorite people.

You know why?

Because honey, how the hell can you stand there in that adorable gingham dress that you sewed yourself and say that?

“Oh well it was just a pattern from the craft store.”

Did you even see the overly elaborate Christmas presents that you designed so carefully? What about the mystery party that you threw so that the shy, wildly awkward Finnish kids could actually have a chance to converse with each other, gender to gender?

Talk about creative matchmaking. Most of the time, we don’t even make eye contact until well into a year of marriage.

“Oh well that’s just expected.”

What about those heartfelt facebook posts and sweet notes in cards? You’ve got a wonderful way with words.

“Oh I’m not a writer though, that was just normal.”

*silence* as Caitlin struggles not to explode.

Thank God you aren’t aware of the storm that kicks up in me at that moment. I have to sit on my hands to resist a loving shake and less gentle, but still caring yell of “what in the world do you even mean?”

These moments chip away at my sanity like those nasty wood eating bugs away our trees. You know what happened to those trees? One suddenly collapsed and barely missed my brother’s old Ford Exploder. And our house.

That’s what the smothering denial of your creativity does. It eats away at me. I don’t respond well to being eaten away at. Why? Because I don’t collapse, I explode. Like an unattended pressure cooker. It’s ugly.

Okay, okay. I have to admit. I do this too. In fact, I did this for the longest time. Talk about misery. I ended up living a life where parts of it made people happy but none of it made me happy. Yeah, I was a hot gooey mess of repression.

How about you?

Do you feel fulfilled in your life? Or do you feel like you don’t have a choice? Do you smash yourself down into the box of “I’m not creative” only to have the blow outs of your emotions later?

I have and sometimes I still do. Temporarily.

Photo by Jaunt and Joy on Unsplash

After a binge watch of Jane The Virgin on Netflix while drinking way too much coffee that will keep me up all night, I cry about how I’m not a writer like her. Or an actress like Gina Rodriguez who does hella awesome stuff.

Or on a really bad day, I queue up Gossip Girl. Which leads to self righteously snarky commentary about wasted money when secretly, New York has always been my grand dream.

I dream of gorgeous clothing in a walk-in closet. Decadent food every day, both that I create and consume. Drinks everywhere and a private plane to jet you off to Greece on the slightest whim. Meeting and creating with fabulous people.

But am I working towards any of that? No, I’m watching other people live what I want and low-key hating on them for it. What a blow for the old morale!

Then the moment comes where I finally, finally yank myself back together.

When my (makeup less, because out in the middle of nowhere, there is no point in dressing tastefully for the mud!)eyes start to swim and the disatisfaction builds up to a sickening point and I can no longer go on.

You know how?

I start by making a cup of calming tea. I go sit near my dog. I stroke her and I start to breathe.

With each breath, I remind myself that creating is a life long journey. That I have to keep moving towards it every day. That even 50 words written is a victory.

That austerity and financial miserly-ness is a temporary place and not where I’m planted. That there is so much value in the drab, poor, rural life that I am living.

By then, the tea is done steeping. (Just kidding, I always forget and leave the tea bag in the cup for always.)

I get up, I walk out through whatever scorching, freezing or smothering bug air that lies outside the front door and go sit down in the office.

I turn on my cranky, behemouth Dell Optiplex computer.

And I write like my life depended on it.

Because, really? The life that I dream of absolutely does.

The creative lifestyle that you resist is the one that you born to do. So when the great resistance kicks up, go straight out there and get creating instead.

Thank you for reading! :) What are your tricks to get past despair? Talk to me about it below!

Email launch specialist & executor! I write about food, technology, mental health, travel, TV & love. Always dreaming of an ever-more wonderful world…

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