Creative Outputs and Where to Find Them

/not turning back on the title!

We’ve all been there. Writer’s block and all their relatives. And yet, we always forget that creativity can’t be forced. It has to come through inspirations or some form of motivation. Creativity also comes when you seek it, not when you’re waiting for it. Like it or not, creativity is an effort, not a gift. You may be gifted with talents, but unless you put your time into crafting your work, you’re not gonna go far with what you already have. It’s basically like investing.

For at least two months now, things have been quiet, work wise. My precious Macbook pro was away for longer than I remember because other things demanded more of my time and money that I would like. I’ve been happy, then unhappy, then happy again, and then finally, feeling lost. I started questioning everything around me like I usually would when I have all the free time in the world to sit down and think – what if. What if this, what if that. Nothing really comes out of them, but the questions were my muse. And then my phone became my occasional “solution”.

Until one day when I came into work. It just dawned on me – I’m creatively deprived and I’m unhappy. I need to do something. I want to do something.

It’s hard to explain the feeling when my work rarely demands creative (read: not innovative) outputs. I don’t freelance anymore and I’m a part of a somewhat rigid work system. My priorities have changed and I have to make an almost 180-degree shift in mindset for my job. But, I only felt the pang after things have quiet down for a long time and I cannot revert to The Sims 4, random music recordings or writing, and even making some random video that most likely will never end up anywhere on the world-wide web. Anything that I would’ve done to express myself creatively.

Not that I’m complaining, though. I love where I am in life so far, I just feel like I’m not much of myself lately and I don’t feel particularly ecstatic about it.

So here’s what I’ve started doing:

  1. Talk to some friends about it. Especially when they’re in the same line of work. Maybe, they share the same feeling. Talking things out tend to take half the load off your mind for a while, and then from here, you could either choose to continue with your life or set out a goal to meet.
  2. I didn’t really set any goals, but then I said yes to a project and surrounded myself with a different group of creative people, partially unrelated to what I do every day at work. Okay lah, 90% unrelated. But hey, it was what I used to do when I freelance, so why not. I got out of my routine and I actually enjoyed myself a lot. It was fun! Set out to do something that is out of your normal routine, even if you can’t think of a goal to achieve. Just do what is typically different from what you normally do.
  3. Looking for inspirations. Find out about what’s really up with me with Mr. Google. I haven’t really found anything yet, I just want to take a break from work and do something else first. That’s all I know now. Main thing is, you understand what is going on with yourself/life.

So today, for example, was the most mind-stimulating day for me. I haven’t felt like it in a while. Ideas after ideas just came to me, almost taking me away from reality in the midst of conversations among my friends. I was jotting away when more ideas stemmed from inspirations all around me. It was great. It felt great. All it take was for me to get out of my normal routine, the people I see almost every day, and being a part of a project that isn’t part of my job scope. I was even excited to fork out my savings to pay for my MBP’s graphics card when I was completely against this idea months ago! I was just on fire to get something done!!

Don’t believe me? Check out my new online personality name – mxll. I swapped the e for x. You still pronounce it “Mell”. And I am feeling content. I finally feel satisfied with my online personality name. If I’m going back to writing songs, this is what I’m gonna use from now on. I’m gonna be working on it as a brand, and I will carry it everywhere I go online. “news and shoes by mxll”. YAS.

There is a list of things that I’m going to do, or at least want to do before things get busy after Chinese New Year. I realized that a lot of things are just within reach the moment I stopped being a couch potato contemplating life. I’m a doer, but with seasons. Complications. But. I just wish I had taken my time more seriously when things were extremely quiet before I got my full-time job. I could’ve done a lot of things but I spent it all on sleeping, watching useless YouTube videos, and God knows what else. I can never get it back, and it sucks because I’m turning 24 soon and I don’t feel like I’ve done enough for myself.

But I don’t have time to regret. The project isn’t over yet and I’m getting my laptop back soon. Time to get to work!!