As I watched this character work through his creative process, I was completely blown away. I’m not a musician, not by a long shot, but my struggles and triumphs as a writer were very similar to his as a pianist.
That’s when it struck me: Creatives must all have minds that work in similar ways. Not identical. Never identical. Just similar enough so that we all have common ground in our heads.
What kind of a mind does it take to have the ability to make others feel something, understand something, through our creativity? A unique one? A crazed on? A brilliant one? What's it like?
Admit it: Creative people are hard to understand. I mean, I'm a creative person and I sometimes don't understand what goes on in my own mind half the time. I know a lot of creatives feel the same way, and I know that a lot of non-creatives have a hard time understanding their creative friends.
So what is it that goes on in the creative's mind? Let me show you:
2. We're scared to death that we'll fail. Not necessarily because of what others will think, but because of what we will think. We understand - or think we understand - our own potential, so falling short of that makes us feel like the sorriest piece of skin and bones that ever walked the face of the earth. Because of this, we push ourselves and push ourselves because gosh darnit, we will not fail. Sometimes that nagging voice in our head tells us that we should just quit while we're ahead. Stop creating now before we make a mess of things. But we can't because...
3. Ignoring our creativity is impossible. No matter how hard we try, we will always be writers, artists, musicians. When we're not engaging our creativity, we're thinking about it. Sometimes, when that fear I just talked about starts eating at us, we try to leave everything behind because we think that might make us feel better. But it doesn't, because our creativity is part of us and, at the end of the day, we always find ourselves drawn back to it.
4. We're always dreaming. We dream about where our creativity might take us some day. Will we become professionals in our field? Will we make it big? We can imagine it. And, sometimes, we believe that it will come true. After all, we give imagination life all of the time through our writing and music and artwork. So we think that if we can dream it, we should be able to make it happen. It'll take time and work and, sure, it might not happen. And that'll hurt. But not trying would be even worse, right? So we dream on and keep hoping that that dream will take form.
5. Our minds don't make complete sense, even to us. Sometimes our thoughts are fairly normal: Family, work, school, what we want to eat for lunch. Just your general, run-of-the-mill stuff. But other times it's like Wonderland up there. We're out for a walk, thinking about nothing in particular, and then something catches our eye, inspires us, and our mind bursts with pictures and words and sounds. It can spiral out of control quickly. Sometimes that takes us to depressing, dark places. Other times it lets us tread among the stars. It's miserable and magical, oh yeah....Wait. Woah. Did I just quote Taylor Swift? We will never speak of this again. EVER.
6. We never know quite how we feel about our own work. On one hand: Pride in our success. On the other: painful, agonizing loathing. Creatives are rarely able to see their own work clearly. Take writers, for example:
8. We hope to reach others through our creativity. Why do you suppose we pour out our hearts for all to see? Because we want to share our world, our hopes and fears and joys and loves with others. This was one of the things that stood out to me in Your Lie in April: Each time the characters sat down at the piano or picked up the violin, they had a single thought: Will it reach them? This is something I wonder every time I sit down to write: Will it reach them? Will people see what I'm trying to help them see? I hope so.
9. We love every inch of this crazy journey. While there are parts of being creative that scares the heck out of us and makes us wish we never started, we're always proud to travel this path. It's who we are and what we do and we don't really want that to change. That's why we keep coming back after a failure, or keep pushing deeper even when we think we've gone as far as we can go. We love this absurdly twisted and colorful path and can't wait to see where it leads.
Maybe there's far more to a creative's mind than that. Or maybe there's far less. But, when I think about writing or come across people with different creative talents, those are the traits that I see most often.
What about you? Do you identify with any of the above? What are some things you think people should know about the creative person's mind?
Also, I don't usually recommend TV shows on here, but I'm going to today: Do yourself a favor at watch Your Lie In April. It's on Netflix and everything about it is gorgeous: The animation, the music, the symbolism, the characters, the themes, the quirkiness. It's a new favorite of mine, in case you couldn't tell. Have you ever seen it? Leave your thoughts below! If not, go watch it and then come sit with me in glossy-eyed admiration.
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