Some may disagree with me doing this. Some may become alienated as my experiences do not match up to theirs close enough. And some might simply be mad at me for some other reasons that if I were to guess, I’d likely be wrong about it anyway.
I’m gonna demystify creativity.
Right here, right now, I am going to take this thing that I’ve been doing for a long time and make it technical. Not the whole width and breath, but that’s the plan.
I believe art is one of the most important things on Earth and is a little like magic.
But it’s not actually magic.
And, at least in writing, I know how the trick is done.
Where does inspiration for a story come from and where does an artist get their ideas? Well, the actual answer is a combination of inner and outer stimuli. I consider an active writer’s head to be a little like a soup that consists of hundreds of interesting things they happened to come across. A broth that has every show, book, song, and any other media that they happen to see recently stewing in there alongside real life.
Perhaps it’s different for those writers who don’t constantly pump out new content, but, for me, I keep emptying that bowl into stories and articles. I don’t pull from older events nearly as often. I’m not rehashing trauma from years ago. I don’t blame those that use writing as an outlet—it’s a good outlet—but I don’t do that as much for old problems.
New stuff on my mind though? Oh yes. My characters speak my recent musings even if only somewhat in a way that’s related. Characters eat what I have been craving. Fight dramatic versions of stuff that’s been bothering me, or someone close to me. Deliver speeches I wish I could stand on a podium and tell masses.
I don’t recommend trying to guess the exact link because it can lead to a bit of madness—the line of thought is not logical, or linear. And the connections can be objectively strange. A character of mine can wear a fedora, eat an avocado like an apple, and then purchase a book of spells from a man without a nose, and those ideas could come from 1.) me having guacamole recently 2.) having joked about people wearing fedoras recently with friends 3.) had a stuffy nose 4.) liked the art on a hardcover book. That’s a fictional example—but not an unrealistic one.
The magic is in taking the mundane of the world and spinning it into worlds. Make stories that free—at least for a while—people from mundanity and boredom. And, if we’re really doing our job well, then we have them return with a reignited light or fire in them that needed another dash of fuel.
But the reason I felt like creativity, maybe, needed some curtains pulled back, is that it’s a learned thing.
So, hey, you, the person reading this: look around.
Humans naturally create art and make stories. You were compelled to do so as soon as you had decent motor function. Babies doodle on walls.
Look around and gather some ingredients.
I promise you, soon enough, you’ll start to see stories.
And what you do with them…
That’s up to you.
Special thanks to: Bob Gerkin, Collin Pearman, Dylan Alexander, Jerry Banfield, and Michael The Comic Nerd.
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Want to read something longer by me? How about a whole novel!