Being Creative is NOT Optional

October 15, 2016

Humans are born to create.
Don’t ask me why. It just seems to be the way we’re set up. Being creative is like breathing, it’s a necessity.

“We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.” – Julia Cameron

We’re not meant to be corporate drones.
Going thru the routine of rush hour traffic, clocking in, morning coffee, cubicles, small talk around the water cooler, signing birthday cards, wondering if someone brought cake, eating lunch, playing solitaire, gossiping on gchat, passing time til evening rush hour. Rinse & repeat til the dirt nap.

We all gotta eat, so making money is fine.
But if in your off time you’re not being creative, it’s gonna be a tough road ahead. Not being creative results in weird compulsions and mental disorders, I’m convinced.

That’s why we’re inventing automated machinery with increasing computing power to do all that crap we don’t need to do.

There are many ways to create.
Painting, writing, singing, acting, podcasting, making videos, building businesses, cooking, baking, gardening, knitting, making video games, creating apps, whatever. And I bet a (dairy free, gluten free) cookie that you are naturally drawn to one of these ways.

Every human is creative, it’s not a skill reserved for the elite. It’s like exhaling, everyone can do it.

And know that just because you create doesn’t mean you’re gonna win awards or make a million dollars. It doesn’t mean it will be any good either, at first. If you put your work up publicly, some critics will even say mean things. That’s part of the game. (There’s an easy solution to that pest problem: turn off all comments! Protect your creative seedling at all costs from harsh weather til it’s strong enough to withstand.)

You’re being creative simply for the love of the game.
Because it’s fun. And because it’s a necessity. If you eat food, you’ll have to poop. And if you’re born a human, you will have the urge to create. It doesn’t matter if it smells, you gotta poop and you gotta create.

“I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.” – Isaac Asimov

If you keep it up, you may even surprise yourself at how you good you get. Like our dude Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act but a habit.” Keep doing it.

So if things aren’t going as well you’d like in your life; you’re feeling icky, bored, stuck, lonely, sad, depressed, anxious, whatever, hunker down and “make good art”, like Neil Gaiman suggests.

You have no other (good) option.

Buddha Doodles
Molly Hahn started drawing little buddha doodles with popular sayings attached to them.

In 2011, she was going through a traumatic life experience, so this was part of her meditative therapy. She then put out these cute buddha doodles out into the world, to help others.

Soon it became a super hit with over 200,000 followers and she even has
popular buddha doodle books & journals out.

I found Buddha Doodles during a late nite google image search of quotes. I was going through my own dark night of the soul and when I saw these doodles, I smiled. They were so awesome and perfect for what I needed that night. I couldn’t believe these existed and that no one else had done em before!

Buddha Doodles: Imagine the Possibilities – amzn

Panda Planner
Michael Leip was suffering from Lyme Disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Cancer. All of this naturally led to anxiety and depression.

To find a way out of this hole, he started journaling as a mental health practice. He studied happiness and mental health techniques like gratitude, and wanted a system so that he could remember to do this daily.

Thus the Panda Planner.
I heard about this through Amazon. They had a product spotlight on the Panda Planner and Michael’s story.

These planners are a big hit, currently the best selling item in the personal organizer category with over 1000 reviews.

Panda Planner – amzn
Panda Planner Story

Hyperbole and a Half
Allie Brosh started blogging and putting up funny webcomic drawings about her life, childhood, and her adventures in depression.

Soon this became a megahit, with thousands of fans being able to relate and find joy in her work, as can be seen by the thousands of comments left on her posts. Even psychologists praise her work for being honest and open about a condition many suffer from silently.

Then she released a book containing her drawings, which also became a big hit.

I heard about Allie’s book thru Bill Gates, who recommended it as a great read.

Hyperbole and a Half – amzn
Hyperbole Blog