Day 5: Be Otherworldy




I am so tired of the entire mystique that being creative or being a writer is “otherworldly” and “mysterious” and that all writers have to be “moody” or “deep.”

And please imagine me doing the air quotes with those buzzwords. Creativity does come from breaking out of the norms. However, being “otherworldly” I feel wastes that creative energy rather than harnesses it for writing or creating art.

Not all artists are “weird.” Ansel Adams. Caravaggio. Frida Kahlo. Dean Young. Susan Straight. Chris Abani. All famous writers/artists NOT WEIRD. They all approach writing and creativity as a JOB. Because IT IS.
You write. You work. If you are serious about writing then you will be writing.

However, if you are otherworldly and see that as a means of creativity, then I feel that is a waste. I mean, Ooooh. I’m a pixie dancing out in the wind frolicking for everyone to see me! I must be an artist! I must be creative. Look how carefree I am!

Bull. Shit.

I am not saying people should be boring. One of my colleagues Bri Cavallero is one of the best writers I’ve met and she loves all things Sherlock. Another one of my favorite writers, Melissa Mutrux is obsessed with fairies. You can have your obsessions, you can be out of the ordinary, but if that’s ALL you do, then you are being weird for weirdness’ sake.

It’s a lot like the commentary about modern art. People say “My kid can do that!” Sure. But does your kid know WHY he’s doing that? Does he understand WHY the paint splatters and marks are “random” and “haphazard” (when they aren’t). Probably not, but an artist who sees it as a critique or sees the reasons why they are playing with expectation has more of an appreciation for it. There is reason behind the weirdness.

If you are a pixie dancing in the wind and you do it as an escape or for a reason, more power to you. If you do it just to be noticed and weird, like young hipsters who move into impoverished areas to “slum it” but neglect the fact that some people can’t afford to move out of the bad areas–then you sir are an opportunist and frankly one of the reasons why art and society are seen as a joke.

Ok Rant over. This was one of the challenges from the Creativity Project that I just refused to do. Creativity isn’t a trait or something mystical. It’s a talent or a skill. People just need to access it.


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