pondering creative

Lately I’ve been thinking about how I came to be a creative person. I know that I somehow am able to put my ideas out there and make them come to life because recently, for the first time I was able to create the scenes for one of the fashion shows on campus and it actually all came together really nicely. I never used to be one to label myself as a creative or an artist because it seemed like I would have to fall under the category of being a creative genius or fashion designer, but I guess that isn’t the case.

I think I started to develop an interest in telling my own stories and ideas through words when I was in middle school. I would see and read other things that inspired me to create my own world and story. I kept a notebook in my night stand and late at night when I couldn’t sleep, I would get up and start writing these fictional stories. Some would be about rich girls in high school (inspired by The Clique series), some would be sci-fi about places where people were cloned, and so on and so on. Although I was basing my ideas off of things that already existed, I was making them my own and changing things to fit the story I wanted to tell.

I think a lot of times people are afraid to truly label themselves as a creative because they feel like they have to do or create extraordinary things to really be one. I think that if you have an idea and are able to execute it in a unique way, not even a way that others can understand, then you are a creative and you are an artist. I think the main thing you need to be able to do is take an idea and roll with it no matter how crazy it may seem. You might surprise yourself.

Learning to be okay with not having a plan

All of my life I have always worried about what is going to happen next. The minute that I solve one thing, I find something else to worry about. I think it was less about just be attracted to negativity in general, but more about wondering what gives my life a purpose. What I mean by this is that sometimes I feel like if I’m not worrying about anything, that something is wrong. That I am not trying hard enough or that there is nothing else for me to prepare for or look to. That without the stress of what is going to happen next, that I have nothing to push or motivate me to do more.

Lately I have been trying to move away from this mindset. As I get ready to graduate, I realize that I can’t control everything and that no matter how little companies email me about a job offer or return my emails, no matter how uncertain I am about what I am going to be doing even in the next month, graduation is coming. No matter if I have a plan or not, I am getting my degree, something I have worked hard for for years. So instead of focusing on what I don’t have, I am focusing on what I do have that is going to prepare me for the unknown. I am more prepared than I know.

I have been taking this mindset and applying it to my writing as well. For my project, I added a few poems or things I consider “art” that might describe someone’s daily life. Something that makes them feel like they are not alone, or something that makes them chuckle about something that maybe is actually a little serious, but it’s always good to laugh. I have been trying to let my fingers move on the keyboard or my pen moving on my notepad even if the words coming out make no sense because I know that in some way I can make them have meaning. I think that when you trust yourself and your ideas, it shines through your writing .

Caffeine Crazy

I am currently sitting in Starbucks and I was so close to being a Gold member and suddenly my stars were nowhere to be found. After contacting customer service they informed me that with the update, they automatically moved me up to Gold status. I bring this up to say that I spend entirely too much money on coffee. Im willing to bet that if I saved up the money I spent on coffee these last four years, I would have a dollar amount in the thousands.

What does coffee have to do with writing? Well a whole lot! Like a lot of people, when I first tried coffee I didn’t like it because it was too strong and bitter and made my heart race, but as time went on I came to like it more and more. By the time I came to Michigan my freshman year, I felt like I needed coffee to stay alert and focused on my work. It had to accompany me at least once a day while I wrote my papers and studied for exams. I also felt that my burst of energy helped me think about creative ideas at a faster rate. Even right now I’m at Starbucks drinking an iced vanilla latte as I type.

I was always warned about getting addicted to coffee, although I don’t quite get headaches when I don’t have it for a day or two, I am starting to think I am psychologically addicted to it. Instead of drinking coffee when I’m tired, I drink it to feel productive. It is my drink of inspiration and drive. Without it, I don’t feel like I had a successful work session.

Thinking about the “Lifestyle” tab in my advice column, I think I am going to add a piece on coffee consumption and why it is important to pay attention to how much is consumed before it’s too late. I think it is too late in the game for me to give up coffee especially as I start a real job and have to wake up early, but maybe i’ll be able to save someone with the post.

Getting back to my rituals

So as an update from my last post, I am finally getting back on track. I am writing this post sitting in Literati, one of my favorite places to go when I need to focus on writing. It took me about a month to get myself back here doing work, but better late than never. I tried to make it simpler for myself and sit at home to write, but I finally gave that up because there are just way too many distractions. Now that it isn’t freezing cold outside it is easier for me to travel to my favorite writing spots. The sun being out is a great motivator for me and always puts me in great creative moods.

Yesterday in class when we had free time to work the the pieces of our projects that we felt needed to most work, I struggled to figure out what to work on because… well I need to work on a whole lot. I decided to start the construction and layout of my site before continuing to work on the content because I think that when I have a better idea of where things are going to be and how I want them to look, it helps me figure out how to structure my writing and what to include.

There are so many ways to organize content when creating an advice blog that it is almost overwhelming. I think a big thing I need to decide is how much writing is just the right amount to be informative, but not so detailed that it is boring. I am also finding it difficult to tell my story and about experiences I have had without oversharing, or in a way that is relatable to a broader audience. I hope that as I continue to experiment with my layout and content that it gets easier to me to envision the experience of my project as a whole.

Challenge Journal #2 – Senioritis and being nostalgic

This is only my 2nd blog post and it is almost April. It isn’t because I don’t enjoy blogging or writing, but I think that in this class as well as my others, outside of being close to graduation which definitely has an impact on the schoolwork I do, it is also hard to come to terms with the fact that my life is going to change so drastically in less than two months. I have found it hard to get myself to get ahead in my project and finding motivation to write because I feel like if I take longer to do things, I am buying time in a way.

To help you understand, I spend my time procrastinating and listening to old music, thinking about the past and missing childhood and the time that I was nervous to start college. A few years ago before I started my journey at Michigan, I just wanted to just get the process of things that scared me over with, thinking that if I resolved the things I was anxious about quickly that I would feel better. I think that makes sense to most people, however I wish I had not tried to rush through my work and my writing and in life in general during these last few years.

That being said, I know I need to work a bit quicker on my project and writing the content for it now that the end of class is around the corner. It is just scary for me to complete one of my last assignments at this university and not know what is next. I am going to try to focus more on sticking to the writing rituals I said I would follow at the beginning of the semester to get myself back on track. I hope everything works out in the end!

My Writing Ritual- Or Lack Thereof

During my Gateway class I had a lot of trouble coming up with ideas for my experiments. For my final project I ended up writing a collection of poems rather than sticking to one topic. If I could go back, I would challenge myself to dig deeper into one subject rather than skip around.

I think a big problem I have that ultimately affects my writing is that my brain tends to go 100 mph without many breaks in between. I find it hard to sit and focus on one thing for a long period of time without getting distracted, getting bored of what I am working on, or second guessing everything I do. One day I might be able to get myself together to work on an assignment, but I always need to give myself extra days just in case I am not able to perform how I would like right away.

This being said, I don’t think that having a busy mind makes me a bad writer, in fact it often makes it easier for me to come up with ideas, but sticking to an idea is more of the issue. This is why I do not currently have a routine that I go through when I am going to write because I never know when I am going to get that sudden burst of energy and excitement for what I am doing.

I prefer the kind of writing that I do informally whether that be journaling or writing in the notes on my phone because at least at the moment I wrote it, it was relevant and important to me and there is no demand for me go back and fix that writing so that it fits into someone else’s expectations. I think my writing is more interesting when I do it at the time I am passionate about something. That being said, after the Tharp reading, I think I am going to try and slow down by doing my writing earlier in the day before I get distracted by life events. No promises that I will always stick to it, but I will certainly try.


Words of Wisdom

To the next group entering the gateway, here is some advice to help out along the way:

  1. Don’t wait until the last minute to complete assignments and projects if you can avoid it
  2. Be open to new ideas because even if it sounds crazy, it could turn out to be something you are really proud of.
  3. Even though it may seem scary to do things outside of your comfort zone, it is good to do so so that you get experience creating a diverse range of content.
  4. Uniqueness is key

 

Experimenting with Experiments

 

I feel like what has been working for me is figuring out little by little how to put my experiments up on my eportfolio and designing and organizing everything. Once I can worry less about the little things and get them out of the way, it will be easier and less stressful for me to put my final project together because I can focus on just that and everything else will be complete and posted.

I think my decision to turn my experiments into poems for my final project is beneficial because I have had time to process my ideas and feelings related to what I have already created. I’m ready for everything to come together. I learned that taking risks ultimately makes a piece more interesting and I appreciate it more. Even if it doesn’t work out, at least it is clear that you tried to do something different and unique.

What’s Next

The Big Picture 

I plan for my final project to be based off of my experiment 2 in which I wrote a poem about my experience going to a predominantly white elementary school and how that affected me, however I am also going to be using my experiment 1 and using that to write one of my poems. When I am finished with my project, I will have 3-4 poems describing important events in my life as well as the lives of others. The goal is to write my poems in a way that is abstract, yet easy to understand. I hope that people that read the pieces will feel like they were there in the moment, or at least leave with a better understanding of how it might have felt going through those different experiences.

Why I am Choosing it

I am choosing experiment 2 as my final project because I feel like although I like my experiment 1 idea which was to write up short entries about other people’s experiences as if it were them speaking, I do not get to put enough of myself into that. In the project I chose to do, I get to write about my own experiences as well as others, but in a way that is based off of my creative ideas.

First Steps

My first steps will be finishing the poem I wrote for experiment 2 and then going back and looking at the topics I had for my other experiments as well as others I have not yet explored. My sketch will help me because although I do not have my poems completely thought out, I have ideas for topics that are worth writing about. From that, I can think about what things I want to highlight and how I can go about that in an abstract way.

What I am Looking Forward to

I am looking forward to sitting down and writing my poems because I find it fun to play around with words and to use them in a way that expresses different issues. I can’t wait until I have a finished product and can go back and look at an organized and attractive portfolio with all of my work in it.

My concerns are that it will be to difficult to write about experiences based off of a restricting poetry format. It would be easy to write all free verses, but I think I want to challenge myself to write at least one poem that is not so flexible in terms of form.