Fears, Hope and Creativity: The graduate trifecta.
I have been increasingly frustrated with my writing efforts as of late. Regardless of what I read – whether its good or bad – I have struggled to find the inspiration to write anything of worth.
I honestly believe that I have started this very post 40 times. Starting, stopping, staring at a blank page waiting for the keys to start typing themselves. And I think I have finally figured out what is wrong.
Since graduating I have been swaying between extremes. First panic; “what-the-hell-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life!! I must get a job, a house, a dog, a partner, etc RIGHT NOW“.
Then lulls which could easily be confused with hibernation; “Whats the point? I’m never going to make anything worth while, I’m never going to get a creative, fulfilling career where I’m living”.
It is very easy to allow myself to wallow in all these fears. Wanting to be creative in my life, in part hoping and in part fearing, that this is something achievable in my life despite the limitations currently in place. The Hopes being that my location or the ‘nay-sayers’ who think I am crazy when I take a crafting moment or they find me scribbling notes because a mad little story plot has came to me and i am scared of losing it into the ether, are wrong. Versus the Fears that even if I succeeded in some way I wont be as good as others, continually aspiring to writers that make me laugh and think deep thoughts (which isn’t impossible myself but just the ability to inspire it in others). And that I will create nothing of worth, nothing memorable and therefore what is the point in trying.
This is when i turn to my eternal spout of inspiration and positive thinking: TED Talks. One of my personal favorites is by Susan Cain, author of the book Quiet and her talk, The Power of the Introvert.This is a talk that resonates with me a lot as it inspires hope that certain aspects of my personality are not the weaknesses that society makes them out to be and that there is power and opportunities to come from my differences – Everyone’s differences are opportunities to make new discoveries and opportunities to collaborate creatively. It also made me buy her book which only encourages me further, specifically the historical evidence that introverts have to power to inspire change like Rosa Parks who was an inspiration and spark for the movement of Martin Luther King!
One of my favourite quotes is;
“Now that your an adult, you might still feel a pang of guilt when you decline a dinner invitation in favor of a good book…Or you’re told that you’re “in your head too much”, a phrase that’s often deployed against the quiet and cerebral.
Of course, there’s another word for such people: thinkers”.
Another is Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love a revolution of a book inspiring people to aim for your dreams and her speech, The Elusive Creative Genius. Her speech had me laughing and inspired to renew my creative efforts. Especially since according to her my creative lull isnt entirely my fault.
Ancient Greece and ancient Rome — people did not happen to believe that creativity came from human beings back then, O.K.? The Greeks famously called these divine attendant spirits of creativity “daemons.” The Romans had the same idea, but they called that sort of disembodied creative spirit a genius. They believed that a genius was this, sort of magical divine entity, who was believed to literally live in the walls of an artist’s studio, kind of like Dobby the house elf, and who would come out and sort of invisibly assist the artist with their work and would shape the outcome of that work. Elizabeth Gilbert.
You have to listen to her full speech to gain all the wisdom she has to offer and i promise you wont be disappointed.
Further Reading: Another really interesting and inspiring post from The Guardian
I understand that this is post has turned into a huge ramble. However i am just happy to day to have completed something and i hope to turn this into a new series as i progress through the drama that is being a graduate. However i hope that this has inspired other graduates or those changing careers or inspiring for change.
Thank you for sticking with me. And as a quick follow up since i started writing this blog post. I managed to get my first interview post Masters!! Success!
Good Luck & Mwah,