Is Creativity Work Or Play? // A Guest Post by Abbiee7:00 AM
YOU GUYS. Today you're going to hear from one of my most favorite blogger people, Abbiee! She's a fellow creative person who's full of hilarity and a love of waffles, which is 100% something I can get behind, and her thoughts are so lovely that I just had to get her to write something up. I'm thrilled with this post, which means that you will be too, because you've all got good taste, yeah? So shower her with love in the comments and make her feel welcome...and let's get to it.
My name is Abbiee and I’m a busy human bean.* My usual day is packed with a full to-do list, leaving no room to breathe or Pinterest. (The latter is the worst travesty of all.) I can’t remember the last time I spoke the phrase, “I’m bored.” I AM NEVER BORED. I have lots of things to do: help out in my family’s business, write books, compose music, practice singing, do household chores, edit manuscripts, and of course blog. Most of that sounds like fun, right? (Minus the editing of manuscripts. That is universally known to be NOT fun.) I completely agree – I am blessed to have time for my art. But when my friends ask me about life and I say that I am Busy™, I sometimes feel like a liar. These friends go to college and have Real Jobs™ and they are probably much busier (in the normal sense) than I am. But does “busy” mean “doing lots of things I don’t like to do” or does it simply mean “doing lots of things?”
Sometimes I call my art “work.” Especially if my friends ask me, “What is this elusive thing you call work?” It’s true – I have no paying job and I am not attending school. My day belongs to me and my family. I can spend my time however I wish to. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have deadlines and obligations. ON THE CONTRARY I HAVE A LOT OF THOSE. For instance, right now I am writing this guest post for Aimee’s blog. I also have to write a post for my own blog tomorrow and schedule it to post on Saturday morning. I’m going to the recording studio on Monday. I have several projects I am working on for my family’s business and I promised to have them finished before the week is out. Not to mention how I am steadily suffering through NaNoWriMo. (SOMEONE BRING ME WAFFLES.)
These are all entertaining things! In fact, as I sit here and write them down, I think about the fun elements of each task. But the truth is this: I have to put a lot of creative effort into every one of these things. I have to use my artful brain to create something.
Creativity isn’t a game – it’s a way of life. I strengthen my imagination every time I use it and at the end of the day my mind is tired and I sleep like a rock.* If I’ve been writing all day, I don’t probably even know how to words or grammar. If I’ve been practicing vocals all day, I probably won’t speak to you because my voice is tired of being a voice.
I have a full supply of creativity when I wake up in the morning. But as the day goes on, my supply slowly drains. I feel like I have worked all day. I AM TIRED.** How is this not considered Work™? I might not be getting paid (yet – remember I’m trying to build a future career, bro) but I pour boss-grade effort into everything I do.
Should I feel like I’m lying when I tell my friends that I’m “working?” PROBABLY NOT. Do I still
feel the peer pressure anyway? PROBABLY YES.
Ask any member of my family and they will tell you that I’m a workaholic. The pack mule and I are distant cousins. STRESS MAKES ME HAPPY FOR SOME REASON. I love a challenge – and I love it even more if I can beat my personal best. For me, creativity is an immensely fun job I never punch out of. This can either be a) very freeing, or b) very stressful. In my experience, it’s both.
Creativity can feel like work and feel like play at the same time.
|(i interrupt this post to give you abbiee's face. because i can.)|
So which one is it, Abbiee?? HI THERE. I can hear you through the screen, waiting for the point. Let me put you out of your misery and tell you that I HAVE NO ANSWER. Creativity is neither work nor play.* It is life. And life is full of to-do lists and busy schedules. It can be stressful, but it can also be great fun.
When you use your creative mind, you are working and playing. You are taking part in the most fulfilling job you will ever do. Whether you’re a musician, a writer, a sculptor, a poet, a tattoo artist, or a dishwasher,** you can bring your own creative energy into the thing you do. Never let society’s boundaries make you doubt your awesomeness. AIN’T NOBODY MAKE YOUR ART LIKE YOU MAKE IT.
Explore. Have fun. Stress out a little, it’s totally okay. Eat some waffles. Create the next thing. Love it. Live it. Don’t believe anyone who says you don’t have a Real Job™. Take pride in your life adventure.