Monday, November 15, 2010

In Defense of Creativity

Well pointed ranting, for the world, from Hannah.

There is always more on my mind than just diabetes.  A huge part of my brain is dedicated to creative pursuits.  I am always thinking of some off-the-wall thing to say.  I doodle in the margins of my meeting notes.  I make up songs while driving in the car.  My internal monologue is pretty loud, and it often sounds like descriptive passages in a novel.  (For the record, it's sometimes in first person, sometimes in third person.)  Coming up with new ideas, looking at things from new angles, and putting words to paper/computer screen is my livelihood. 

I am considering a slight revamping of the blog, and my mind starts whirring every time I think about how I want to arrange things.  Thoughts of new color schemes bring a smile to my face, and don't even get me started on how cool it will be if I can get a 3-column format with tabbed pages across the top.  Any time I actually have time to finish a poem these days, I feel like I could throw a party.  In this party, we will most likely have costumes and themed beverages.  I am creative, through and through.

Well, I am tired as hell of feeling like that's just a secondary thing in life.  I don't think those of us who have creative minds get taken seriously, and it's a tough hurdle for many of us to get over.  In jobs I've had, I sometimes find the belief that creativity and the arts are still mere leisure pursuits.  I believe that the successful people in creative professions are some of the most passionate people about their work.  Honestly, passion makes a real difference for anyone in any line of work!  I have a friend who gets very excited when he talks about accounting, statistics, and retirement funds.  I know he will make an excellent CPA.

It seems to me that creativity is often discounted by the business world.  I feel that some people shame the creatives for not doing any "real work".  The events planner gets to "put little parties together" (yes, in passing, I once heard this phrase being used) and the graphic designer gets to doodle all afternoon.  The writer [of this blog post] sits with her laptop in a coffee shop until an idea strikes her.  When an artistic person gets excited about expense reports, selling things to people, operating machines, pouring your coffee, whatever, suddenly you are on your way to being this well-groomed corporate grown-up that people expect you to become if you want to get anywhere in the working world.

I smile a lot.  I laugh a lot.  I have the perkiest receptionist voice in the greater Philadelphia area.  (Seriously, if they had a contest for that, I'd totally win.)  I catch on to all sorts of computer programs, processes and filing systems very quickly.  I am slow to anger, quick to answer questions with accuracy.  Yet, on some intellectual level, or perhaps from a career standpoint, I don't always feel at home, and ultimately, I think that's where I truly see myself in five years.  I want a home away from home that I'm happy to go to on the weekdays, a place where creative people are celebrated.  Sure, some may say that's a pipe dream, or I sound like a hippie, but there are creative, interesting places to work wherever you go.  I hope one day, I can get into that sort of a place.

I'm a creative.  In school, I was a daydreamer.  A procrastinator.  I had A's in English, C's in Math.  I've never been good at fitting into molds.  Just last week I told my mother I don't think I'll ever truly do anything the traditional way.  One of these years, maybe I will get to write for a living.  Maybe I need to go back to school.  Maybe I need to look into freelancing.

I just wish more people understood that being creative doesn't have to be something you reserve for a hobby in your after-work hours.  Artists and creative people are not slackers.  Our passions drive us to succeed, just the way yours do.

1 comment:

  1. Your career options may be broader than you think. As you suggest, 'fit' in this respect is more about environment - how you're valued - than job description. I work as a bureaucrat, but the tendency of my brain to take left turns at Albuquerque is appreciated by my bosses and coworkers.

    I wish you luck in finding a job and/or career that lets you be the best you. :)


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