That is a link to a pretty incredible woman, Penelope Trunk’s, blog. She’s a new hero of mine, and the post in particular is why i think i could be the most creative person ever.
Outlining 5 “Bad situations”, Mrs. Trunk explains why situations we might not think are good for creativity, actually are–and successfully debunks many of my favorite excuses for why ‘i’m not enough’ to be creative right now. Here they are and my reasonings:
#1: Nagging Dissatisfaction
“An inherent part of creativity is never being satisfied with what is there, always striving for something better. After all, if everything is going great, why think of a way to change it.”
First if all, I’m 21 years old. That alone leads to all sort of angsty dissatisfying stuff lingering in the back of my mind constantly. I’m also a natural wanderer, a future-living Aquarius, a social cynic known to wax-philosophical–if there’s ever a day where I don’t wake up to a hollowed heart and it’s residual emptiness, that’d be a day I’d mark down in the history of my life. It’s why I drink, smoke, quit jobs before they’ve even begun (4 in the past seven months)…
“When you can’t smoke, if you stand and stare out of the window on your own, you’re an antisocial, friendless idiot. If you stand and stare out of the window on your own with a cigarette, you’re a fucking philosopher.” –Rory Sutherland
#2: Low Budgets
“No one ever came up with a grand idea when they had more than enough money.”
My current working endeavor is slinging pasta at a Muslim-run Italian dive on the outskirts of town. Minimum wage for the pariahs that are the serving class is $2.13 an hour, usually not even 20 hours a week, due to competition and overstaffing, and one server (the owner’s cousin) who works for less than the rest of us.
Because its over 2 miles out of town, we get regulars. Our regular customers–granted they are usually firemen, paramedics, truckers–seem to think that the second or seventh time around forcing a smile and casual conversation while watching your fluid levels is less worthy of a tip than it was the first time. Guess what? It’s not. We’re still covering for the kitchen’s slowness, still as concerned with you’re overall dining experience, and we still have to clean up all those napkins and ranch dribbling all over the table.
#3: Feeling Lost:
“Passion sweeps you off your feet when you’re meandering. You can’t get swept off your feet when you’re moving fast, when you have a plan, when you’re already going somewhere. You need a foggy focus to find passion. Most people who are creative will tell you that they didn’t pick their form; it picked them. The form your creativity will take will show itself during a time you are lost.”
#4: Being Wrong
“Being certain of what you like means that you’re going to be wrong a lot. Not wrong about what you like, but wrong about what will work…”
I’m young, reckless and headstrong. A beautiful cocktail for wrongness.
“…But much worse than being wrong is never being wrong, because then you are a research drone, a fact-gatherer, not a creative person. So strive for being wrong sometimes, as a way to gauge your level of creativity.”
“The people who do good work all the time don’t leave room for ideas — for genius sprung from passion and blank stares…Empty time is the when creativity flows.”
Good thing I’m lazy, entitled and have 20-ten minute blank stares per pack of cigarettes 🙂
See? I’ve definitely got potential!