The Creative Struggle

From the beginning of this blog, its purpose was to give me a place to focus my creative energies.  From the outside it might just look like a place where I go on long-winded discussions about a bunch of different topics, but that is secondary to the blog’s true purpose.  The primary purpose of this blog is to allow me to practice my writing skills and to keep me writing.  Any creative-minded person knows that sometimes it is incredibly difficult to gather up the will to just write, draw, create, or whatever.  It’s not a hard and fast field, where there can be only one true answer.  Instead, it’s a nebulous arena of disjointed thoughts and feelings, interposed onto whatever canvas we choose.

The struggling or tortured artist is almost a bad cliché at this point, but there is a certain point to it.  In some ways, being a writer or a musician or so on can be far more difficult than being an engineer or a mathematician.  Instead of living in a world of concrete problems to solve, people like us live in a world where we constantly struggle to find our place, to find an outlet to throw our voice out into the world.  For the most part it tends to be thankless work, because generally we rack our minds infusing our work with pieces of ourselves, draining our energies without really knowing if it will matter in the end.

So why do we do it?  Why do artists bother creating if there’s no certainty for their work to be showcased or even recognized as an object of expression?  Wouldn’t it just be easier to work a paying nine to five job for the rest of your life to live in financial security?  In a lot of ways, that would be the smarter thing to do.  But that’s not what it’s about.  In a lot of ways, it is more of  a “need” rather than a “want”.

People like me tend to feel a certain need to create something, to find an avenue of expression beyond the typical.  Some people in the world are wired so that they can be happy with their lives if they work in a job that gives them financial security and allows them to live comfortable for the rest of their lives.  They’re content with routine, worrying more about their paycheck than anything else.  We are not that kind of people.

We are driven to be different, driven to create.  We are often dysfunctional, and slightly psychotic.  We are strange, off-putting, and at odds with the general milieu around us.  We live on the inside, cultivating vibrant imaginary landscapes and worlds deep within our minds.  We do not have an on/off switch.  Inspiration comes in fits and starts, and sometimes we have to try to jump-start the process.

But it’s not always about the work.  Sometimes we recognize that we need to take a break and recharge.  Sometimes all we really want to do is sit back and enjoy the day, without worrying about the problems of the world (which is sometimes incredibly difficult given how connected the world is today with the internet among other things).  Sometimes we don’t really want to talk to people who much, but would rather be alone with our thoughts.  And sometimes, we want the company of another human being to remind us that we are not alone in our struggles.

Please understand that this post is not some cry for pity.  I don’t need anyone’s sympathy, because I am fine with who I am.  It took a long time, and a lot of work, but I become someone I can be proud of.  I was never very comfortable with myself in high school (along with probably everyone else), but it still continued into college to some degree.  I had very little direction and didn’t really understand where I was going for quite some time.  In fact, it wasn’t really until my second year of college when the idea dawned on me to try to pursue a career in writing.

The reality is that it might take me a long time to even get my foot in the door.  But you know what?  I really don’t care.  I would rather be pursuing my dream and be poor than be rich and unsatisfied with my life.  Because after all, isn’t one of the ideals of this country to be able to pursue your dreams?  Are we not allowed to express ourselves in whatever manner we see fit?  I’m pretty sure one of the amendments talks a lot about that (cough cough the first one cough).

So despite the challenge of my chosen profession, I have determined to keep moving forward.  After all, you only fail when you stop trying.

And that’s all I have for this week.  Thanks for reading my ramblings, and I hope you enjoy the rest of your week.  As always, a new post will be posted next Wednesday at noon.  See you then.



4 thoughts on “The Creative Struggle

  1. Pingback: One Year: A Retrospective | Rumination on the Lake

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