I’ve been fairly creative my whole life. Growing up my mom was (still is) creative, my cousins were creative; seemingly everyone around me was creative. Somehow I always felt my creativity never measured up to theirs or anyone else’s. The comparisons, the desire for perfection; were the death of my creativity. But the creative mind is not so easily killed. Even in my most mundane of jobs, in an environment that squashed ideas and innovation I had the desire to create. I was not feeling myself unless I knew I could express myself.
Having a desire to create in many fields I had always felt a little overwhelmed. However, this past summer has been one of extreme growth for me. I discovered three branches I specifically could define as “me.” Music, Film, and Fashion. Once I narrowed it down to those three, I really felt better, and can even see in my past that those were always in the forefront of my works. This is a far more tangible goal than answering “I want to do everything.” I found living role models to prove to myself that this is actually possible; not that those are necessary, just a nice boost.
Now, to the sharing. I had never really shared any of my writings, songs, sketches, or ideas with anyone except family and a few friends. Everything was never complete. I couldn’t call anything complete until it was perfect. Eventually my creativity waned and it was a little over a year of absolutely no creation on my part. I was working, eating, sleeping, and that’s it as far as I’m concerned. I have nothing to show for those years except an insatiable drive and desire to create more now than ever before. This is in part due to my sharing my work online.
Being the vice president of a media production organization on my campus has also been an invaluable tool in my learning process. I always knew that if I wanted something I was going to have to do it for myself; however, this organization helped me experience that. I wanted a media and cinema studies committee within this organization; I created it and currently lead it. I wanted a television talk show; I created it, gathered and assembled a team, and produced it. Seemingly I was fine creating and sharing as long as my work wasn’t as personal as something I had been working on solo. I’ve never liked people who defer responsibility or make excuses; yet somehow I had become that person to myself.
This year I finally used my domain I had bought for myself years prior, and dove right in. I started blogging. I shared photos of sweatshirts I had customized, songs I had written and produced, and even started up my YouTube channel with weekly videos. I even did Vlogmas (a vlog every day from December 1 – December 25) after hearing about it on the 1st of December. While viewership may not have been as high as my weekly videos, I was very happy doing these vlogs. It was a chance for me to learn, gain more experience in filming and editing, and see what my audience enjoys the most. It also helped me to further let go of the idea of perfection. I had daily deadlines. I needed to be accountable with myself and my audience. I may not be beamingly proud of all of the vlogs, but I am proud that I did it. I made a goal for production and stuck to it. I let go of perfectionism.
The interaction I’ve had online with others since sharing my work has become one of my favorite things about sharing. Discussing music, film, and/or fashion truly gives me a high. These discussions and my own acceptance of perfection being unattainable have caused my own creativity to skyrocket. I’m now creating more than ever before in my life and I feel like I’m finally on the right track. I’ve also shared more in this past semester than I have in my life leading up to that point. Honestly, even while typing this I’m getting a rush and this is merely scratching the surface.
While I can only speak for myself, I implore you to challenge yourself to create and share more. See what happens! Let me know what drives you by commenting below, tweeting at me, or Facebook! I am excited to hear about what motivates and inspires others!
“A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what a ship is built for.” – John A. Shedd.