This is a guest post from my dear friend Becky. She makes awesome wax tarts and candles at her online shop, Two Timing Tart. I cannot recommend her stuff highly enough. You should definitely go buy some things from her!
I am a mildly creative person. I write, though whether or not my ramblings make any sense is up for debate. I make candles, wax melts, and such, dabbling in the cerebral creativity that scents evoke. I used to make graphics and websites, and I painted and…
The list of all the things that I have done in my lifetime of being a mildly creative person is astounding when I actually stop and think about it. Being creative is more than just a passing phase or a hobby – it is a way of life. Harnessing that creativity and channeling it into something that isn’t fleeting is a nightmare for a person like me who is introverted, less than fully assertive (I talk a big game and I will jack you up ten ways to Sunday if provoked, but most of the time, I’ll be off in my corner doodling or writing dirty limericks), and is not at all possessed of a Type A – or even a type Z to the Nth degree – personality. The truth about creativity is far more complex than how to harness it or channel it; it is simply letting it be in such a way as to express itself.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of seeing a dear friend after 10 years at the tail end of WorldCon. I got to meet her husband and one of their friends, as well. All three are like-minded creative geniuses who have managed to somehow wrangle their creativity into something productive and each have published novels to their names. (Mike Lyons, Jenn Lyons, and E. M. Ervin respectively, if anyone was curious.) I got to hear about their works in progress and just kind of was left sitting there in the middle of Freebird World Burrito going, “How freaking soon till I can read this stuff?”
My creative tribe is filled with diversity: men, women, writers, artists, singers, cooks… You name it, I’ve got an online friend somewhere who dabbles in it. Meanwhile, I’m over in my corner, doing my thing and wondering how best to harness my latent talents. It’s insanely difficult to be a Jack of all trades and master of none: you know you do well at certain things, but you never quite excel. And the more pies you have your fingers in, the harder it becomes to feel that you are doing anything adequately enough to attract the right kind of attention.
But, in the end, who’s to say what the right kind of attention is? Or what reasons are the right reasons to begin or end a project?
Creativity can be as simple as finding a solution that no one else sees. It can be as complex as the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel or the flowing verse of Shakespeare.
And sometimes, just sometimes, you can tap a well of utter genius when you least expect it.