Monday, July 4, 2011
I wonder this. Are creative people, just like others, except that they feel a need to translate what is on the inside to the outside? I think we all start out with the same amount of creativity, because every kid seems to have unending imagination. The process of “growing up” is partly a process of quieting the imaginative side, for the sake of more practical things.
I’ve had a lot of people say to me after improv shows, “I just couldn’t do what you do, I’m not creative enough.” I disagree with them. I think they are plenty creative enough, they’ve just done too good of a job of forgetting that they ever were. When I’ve taught improv classes, I’ve seen it as my role to help the students break down the barriers that keep them from accessing that creative place that is there.
A lot of people are perfectly fine and happy without accessing those places, or with leaving what they find on the inside. There are others who feel unnatural and uncomfortable not accessing those places, and not expressing what they find there.
Those are deemed creative people.
They feel a need to translate what is on the inside to the outside.
The inability to do that is anxiety. This is why I think anxiety and creativity often go hand in hand. Now, of course, there are all different types of anxiety, but I think there is a very real one involving the inability to express what is inside for some people. I think this is partly why I moved out here to try this. I felt a little stifled, only able to pursue creativity in the leftover times.
You know that feeling when you accidentally shrink a shirt in the dryer? You try it on in the mirror and it looks passable, but then you find yourself pulling it down and stretching your arms out, only to see that it doesn’t cover your gut if you lift your arms up. That’s kind of how I feel in a regular job. It fits most of the time, but sometimes I like to move around and stretch my arms up, and the lack of stretch to the shirt doesn’t allow for that. Creative anxiety is, in part, wearing that shirt to work, but constantly pulling the shirt down, hoping it will fit.
I suppose there are ways to translate what is on the inside to the outside in an avocational way. Right now, I’m trying to see if I can do it vocationally. We’ll see how it works.
If it doesn’t work out that way for me, maybe I’ll just have to live with that anxiety.
But, maybe the anxiety helps create the creativity.