Let’s talk about being creative.


I started writing something, and then I deleted it.

What you’re reading now is something completely different than what I had at first. It wasn’t that what I wrote was the worst thing ever composed. Then again, I’ll always think everything I write could be done better and that the finished product is never good enough.

Then I realized, I’m not telling the story that I want to tell. I just wanted to get straight to the point and express how this is affecting me. It was when I got to this point that I started to think that I was contradicting myself in what I really wanted to say.

What I’m doing is telling a story. It’s not worthy of a Pulitzer, but it’s a story to tell, in written word added with some creative thought.

Somewhere along the way early Thursday morning, I felt I lost that ability to be creative.

Part of it is because I haven’t had a chance, until now, to even tell a story. I began to read old articles I’d written in the last few years. They weren’t rushed, didn’t have to be completed by deadline and were well-thought out.

This is the first time I’ve really had a minute to sit in front of my computer, and type away. Half of the time, I won’t even know exactly what I’m typing. It just comes naturally. At the rapid precision I hit these keys on my keyboard, I could be rambling on and on for hours on end and not have a single idea why I wrote something the way I did.

Then when I look back and think why I hit these keys, I look back and realize my brain created these thoughts that I’m writing out. It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to take a step back and appreciate the written word in a way that not many people can understand.

For most people who read this, it’s a simple post. To me, it’s a brand of my creativity trying to escape whatever prison it feels like it’s trapped in. When I deleted what I originally wrote, I realized it didn’t have a good lead. I pride myself on leads. I’ve been told on numerous occasions that I’m a lead Nazi. If a story doesn’t have a good opening, unless it’s breaking news, I’ve failed. What I originally wrote didn’t have the type of invitation that I would normally give to the reader, letting them know that a story of some capacity will be told.

Half of the time, I don’t even know what story will be told. Even if I’m the one hashing out words left and right and giving you the 411 on what happened, where and why, I don’t even know the direction I want to go in sometimes. When we are rushed and don’t have a moment to think, the creative direction we want to take ourselves is not a clear path. Before we can take the reader on a journey through the tale we’re telling, we must first find ourselves asking if we’re even ready to go on this journey.

If we can’t do that, then we’ve failed ourselves before we’ve failed anybody else. When we are put in a position to put pen to paper, or in this case keyboard to word doc, we are given the daunting task of wanting people to come with us on this journey of the written language. When we’re not rushed, it’s easier to lay the groundwork, as if we began at the starting position in a game of Candy Land and work our way to the Gumdrop Haven. The minute we lose sight of why we’re doing what we do, it’s as if an infinite drop zone is cast under our feet and waiting to take us the minute we go off track.

That’s probably the most creative thing I’ve written in about three months. I wrote that as quickly as I could, but yet made it seem so difficult because the creative process has eluded me.

It’s something that happens to all of us, and we lose sight of it when we don’t even know it, or until it hits us square in the noggin. Creativity is not something that should be brushed aside and taken away by the tide. Given that rhyme, I’m most certainly not a poet but can be a creative rambler when I realize what I’ve said.

This is the first time I’ve sat at my computer in months, writing as a way of leisure, not as of work. When I got into this profession, I always thought of it as fun and never treated it as work. Somewhere along the way, I lost sight of that. I’ve put more thought into making sure things get done a certain way and done in a set amount of time, than just taking a deep breath and trying to put together a collective piece of art that will look more like Picasso than Michelangelo.

But it’s art. It’s creativity. It’s a creation in a different form, but creation nonetheless.

Even when I’m on the clock, writing stories about games and breaking news, I lose sight of the fact that what I do is meant to be enjoyable. I do this for a living, and I’ve wanted to do it for almost my entire life. But with only so many hours in a day, I fall back to a place where creativity is extinct and focus on the task at hand. That can be great. It can also be damn-near ridiculous.

Which is why it’s important to always remember how much creativity should be valued. In the near-1,000 words I’ve written at this point, I’ve spent more time being creative and willing to reach into the abyss of my mind, pull a unique word out from underneath and just type away. I needed it. I needed to find that creative juice again, just in case there’s ever a time I lose track of what’s important.

Me being a journalist/writer has paved the way for me to meet some amazing individuals. They all have a creative drive and a passion for what they do. It continues to inspire me and strive to be just as great. Not better, because I’m too humble to think of myself in that way.

Let your creativity be your guide in anything you do. Turn whatever you create into something made of gold, even if others will think it’s copper. Turn anything you mold into a vase, rather than a lump of clay. Only you will find out how fine-tuned your creative process is.

To you, this may be just a post. To me, it showed that I can still turn back the clock and appreciate whatever the hell it is I do.

And to others, I hope it’s helped. Because it surely helped me.


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