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12 July 2015

a crisis of creativity - sos

Well, I've been away for a while haven't I! Jeez. If anybody out there actually reads this thing, I'm sorry! The last few months have been kinda hectic - working, Field Day festival, a weekend in Brighton, working, spending Friday and Saturday evenings drinking beer on the rooftop of the Belgrave Music Hall, working...  I have thought a lot about posting. Countless times though I've gazed at my computer keys, void of inspiration, only to grumpily shut my laptop in frustration. I've been in the midst of a major crisis of creativity. I know, I know,  middle class problems... I've just been finding it stupidly hard to keep motivated with blogging and writing and it has left me feeling pent up, annoyed, and generally my mental health has suffered because of it. Writing for me is, as being creative is for a lot of others, the ultimate form of release. 

I kinda can't help but be nostalgic for the days of spending summers zooping around on trains, from place to place, feeling at home in the tranquility of a steel carriage and filling notebooks with thoughts and doodles and mosaics of stanzas and short stories. I miss having student loan money and all the free time in the world to spend entire days in coffee shops (much to the dismay of the staff). Next week I've got my first full week off since Christmas and I can't wait to get a little bit creative, watch interesting films, go daytripping on buses and trains and just have time to WRITE. To jot. To note. To scribble. To heal.

(Source )

I recently reread Patti Smith's autobiography 'Just Kids' - a beautiful, poetic journey through her young adult life in New York City. Mostly famished, at times homeless, and in a perpetual fever of love, Patti and her boomerang-beau Robert Mapplethorpe are (quite literally) fuelled by their art. At the Hotel Chelsea, it even pays their rent. Their faith in their talent and in their work never falters, and inevitably they both live compelling creative lives alongside some of the most amazing cultural chiefs of their generation. They're both so fucking cool and completely unabashedly live out their dreams.

I dream of having flat in the midst of Manhattan, with wide open windows to watch the world go by. I'd have a beautiful desk, and be surrounded by papers from a novel I'd completed. Every now and again I'd take breaks to stroll the frenzied streets, soaking in the electric breeze, and grab a cup of creamy coffee while thinking up wild and wonderful words for my next project. I'd return joyfully to my apartment and spend the evening reading over some of my work, legs swinging off the fire escape, smile firmly implanted wide across my face. Equally, I dream of living in a tropical paradise alongside my notebook and pen à la the bonkers Kevin McCloud's Escape To The Wild. Although maybe not QUITE as isolated. Higher Power, if you're listening, either would be much appreciated.


Ridiculous, you say? Well, dreams ARE meant to be grandiose. For now, without the vast riches needed for any kind of square footage in the Big Apple, I think I just need to come up with ways to keep myself creatively stimulated.

Recently, I've been listening to Filler podcast on my morning walk to the office. Each week Harry Hitchens (a beautifully eloquent and incredibly warm-natured guy who I totally worked with very briefly at a restaurant in Brighton many, many moons ago) and Matt Shore interview young, amazingly entrepreneurial creatives about their creative practices. I particularly enjoyed the Charly Cox installment due to her quick wit, charm and raw honesty. Also because I'm a huge fan of her blog Style the Natives.


A sentiment echoed continously across the episodes is that the most important thing you can do is DO. If you write, write. If you film, film. So on and so forth. It makes sense doesn't it? Yet, sometimes it feels SO MUCH easier to stick on the first flick Netflix has to offer. It feels easier to spend weekends hungover scrolling through Instagram while half-watching something on television.  It feels easier to feel your eyes glaze over as you sink into the sofa and turn off your brain, evening after evening. "What do you want to watch tonight?" "Oh, something that doesn't make me think too much." It feels easier, but it leaves you feeling empty. 

What are your tips for staying creative while working full-time? I really want to know. How do people stay focused? For bloggers, how do you maintain the dedication of continuously posting, even when you feel decidedly uninspired? How do you stay confident in your abilities and keep from not giving up on your dreams?  (Bit deep, soz). Seriously though, I'm genuinely interested in other people's creative practices and advice, so PLEASE please share. I'm having a crisis of creativity and I'm sending out an SOS. 

It's mental how even just after writing this, I feel so much better.

1 comment:

  1. I love this, it speaks to me on so many different levels because I feel devoid of creativity a lot as well. Feels good to know you're not the only one out there. Have a lovely day! x


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