It’s 6 a.m. 12th February 2017, I’m awake. Wide awake. I feel like writing. There is a Van Gough ‘The Starry Night’ like cool, thin and smooth blanket of air floating around my room, mixed with the smoke from my Marlboro Lights cigarette that is slowly drifting towards the window. It’s like the central cross-section of the painting, with the wave-shaped, cloud or whatever he meant it to be.
Here is what I’m talking about
It’s more or less an apt description for the inherent sporadic bursts of inspiration, banality and peace that fluctuate through my mind, which is very much like a cloud inside me when I’m writing, thinking, meditating, listening to music, staring at the ceiling or out of the window, or just being, you know, breathing and shit.
My acoustic guitar – The Ashton D-20 BK Dreadnaught (Magdalena) – that I bought last month, is next to me as I stare at this TV screen connected by an HDMI cable to my laptop typing these words out. In front of me is my Keyboard – The Yamaha PSR E353(Jenny) – like another world of creation, waiting and beckoning me to sit and play – I will.
My speakers are on, I’m listening to the tunes hit my ear drum and send positive auditory signals into my brain and my body, life is good at the moment. I’m rather excited to get this music journey going, finally. The classes are going great, my tutors are impressed that I’m picking up things quickly which is quite surprising (more for me than them very honestly).
Anyway I just wanted to get that introduction out of the way, it wasn’t the best- but that’s not what I’m good at! I wasn’t really taught to write, I studied engineering not creative writing, English literature or journalism.
Writing sort of comes slightly naturally to me, probably because I was good at it back in school( I topped my school in English in the grade X exams) before I went off to junior college and college and never made use of my writing skills, until recently. After some much needed introspection and self-discovery, that was the culmination of the events that led upto it.
** In case you’re wondering – how or what, I did to realise this, I just kept asking myself after all the failures in jobs, business, college etc. What is important to me? What do I really want to do in life? What am I naturally good at? and so on, and the answers came and things fell into place ** – The universe is strange that way.
Coming back, after all the books I’ve read throughout my life I’ve sort of realised that most writers are just ‘describing the f**k out’ of stuff in their books. So that introduction you just read was me, ‘describing the f**k out’ of my room and the moment. It wasn’t great, but hey I tried.
I guess that’s why I prefer poetry, it makes you think, it takes lesser effort to read, plus you don’t have to go through chapters of just descriptions of stuff, sceneries, people and whatever. While I admire that, it’s extremely cliche and time-consuming according to me. Poetry is those 3 chapters of J.R.R Tolkein’s books in two sentences. It hits you hard and point blank. And at least for me, given my inclinations to physics as a child, I find a lot of beauty in breaking things down and simplifying them, much like theoretical physicists do.
Again this is just my perspective, which I’m entitled to. What you think may differ and that’s okay, isn’t it? To each his own.
Why am I being so critical about brilliant writers, you may ask ? Because herein lies the problem -norms, rules, standards etc. That’s the problem, we’re conditioned to these rules and they’re everywhere, so to digest something new is an unknown.
“If there is a rule – break it” to quote Hans Zimmer(whose Masterclass I’m eagerly awaiting after signing up).
People need to break out of conventional ways of doing things – everything that they are taught, imbibe, learn etc.
– In order to hone into what their true identity or style is.
In any creative process – that’s perhaps paramount, because that’s you. That is your identity. Don’t try to ape and imitate, or follow methods of others. Be original and unique, people may like it or won’t – that’s besides the point, as long as you’re staying true to your own identity in your work, you will find satisfaction and the rest is open to interpretation for the world.
Everybody isn’t going to like you or what you do or say. Everyone has their own likes, dislikes, fancies, whims and minds basically. You can’t please everybody. The faster you realise and come to terms with this, the better it is for you.
Always remember rule number one:
What else do we truly have that is ours other than our own unique identity? The 3% of our genetic make-up that separates us from everybody else. And further, what else can we do other than make the most of our true unique self’s identity, through outlets of our choice?
There needs to be some destruction in order to create something.
When I say destruction – It could be anything, right from the very rules, norms and structures of what you are taught; right up to personal, emotional, life kicking the shit out of you and you learning the hard way, kind of destruction.
If its the latter, find constructive outlets. I repeat find constructive outlets for that. You probably need a release that is constructive and that doesn’t harm you. I’ve learnt this the hard way. Trust me, just find something you love and do it when you feel life’s kicking the shit out of you, or else you’ll take a heavy beating.
In the end – we’re all creative in some way or the other. We’re all creating something of our own, however significant or insignificant it may be to the world.
We’re all artists, we just don’t know what our art is yet.
To quote this writer I follow on Instagram, “There is art in the hurt and euphoria in the art” Follow her on instagram – nazaneenwrites
And Elon Musk recently tweeted this:
What he’s doing is creative too. Creating ground-breaking technology for the advancement of the human race – that’s his art.
If it’s writing…
If there is a cliche in your head, don’t use it. When it comes to the creative process you’ve got to – Un-learn, re-create, re-invent, expand, go beyond, find yourself, follow instincts and use a unique perspective – to make something that resounds with you and that you love completely firstly, and of course is unique and is your identity. The world appreciating it will follow, if you’ve done the best you can.
Of course you need the basics of everything, but after that its what you make of it, its your thing. Do your thing.
If it’s a business – innovate, think ahead using some foresight, don’t do the same shit. If it’s a job – pitch your ideas to your bosses. If it’s mowing the lawn – take a chair out and sip a beer while doing it. You know, make it different, worthwhile and exciting. That’s the point of life isn’t it.
There are enough people doing the same shit, the same way, everywhere anyway. To use the cliche that I despise, ‘think outside the box’, or maybe ‘define your own box’ 😉
If its music…
Why do something easy ? Why do something mainstream? Why be limited to a genre? Why not create your own?
It has to come from you, from within, your head and your soul – that’s where the real music or any ground-breaking idea or art is made.