“I think being creative is a waste of time and money.”
This is a quote from “Miss Charming,” the comic relief in the movie based on Shannon Hale’s Austenland. I laugh at this line every time, as the characters who are supposed to be having a “genuine” Jane Austen experience use hot glue guns to create regency-style bonnets. Yet even though I laugh at the silliness of these words, I’ve found myself saying them to myself.
These past few months, I’ve taken on several creative projects, though part of me simply wants to sit down, relax, and not think one bit after the busy year I had in 2017. I’ve talked a lot about creativity in my past posts, mostly referring to the writing process, but my recent creative projects have involved manual labor.
For example, I bought a T.V. stand off of a friend, knowing that it would involve some work before I was satisfied with its appearance. It sat in my spare room for weeks before I finally finished painting it because, well, I don’t really enjoy painting furniture. My sister is a pro at it. But me…I like to work with my mind or create small inventions like birthday cards or pictures to hang on the wall. So, when I walked into my spare room to discover this sight, the Austenland quote which had been so funny popped into my mind:
Paint and painting utensils everywhere. An unfinished project with a long way to go before completion, and only one person responsible for doing something about it–ME.
When trying to think of a title for this post, the first thing that popped into my mind was “Being creative is hard.” I almost didn’t use it. “That’s just bad grammar,” I said to myself. Shouldn’t I say “being creative is difficult” or “being creative is hard work”? These are grammatically correct, but somehow they just don’t work. When I’m sitting on the floor surrounded by a mess of paint and supplies, I don’t worry about how my grammar sounds. I don’t say, “This project has turned out to involve quite a bit of hard work.” No. I say, “This is hard,” usually accompanied with a face palm and a longing to go to sleep.
Yes, being creative is HARD. It starts with a bit of inspiration and excitement, but takes hard work and diligence if anything’s going to come of it. That goes for any project! Most days after work, I just want to lay down and watch T.V.–let not only my body rest, but also my mind. And that’s okay sometimes. I’ve had to remind myself to rest a little bit each day so that I won’t overwork myself and want to sleep for a week. But I also don’t want to be slothful, giving into routine and not encouraging my mind to grow. That’s one reason I want to stay creative…by writing and reading books that make me think about ideas that I wouldn’t imagine on my own, and also creating physical projects.
Another reason why creativity is worth the time and effort are the results! Here are the before/after photos of my T.V. stand! (By the way–yes, that is Shawn Spenser/Chad from Psych in the first photo. It was a Dirty Santa gift from years ago, but I don’t have the heart to take the photo out or get rid of it!)
Here are some other projects I’ve completed over the past couple months!
The last photo isn’t actually a completed project. I’m reteaching myself how to crochet, but it will be months before this blanket is finished. There’s definitely some diligence involved there! I will share photos when it’s finally complete!