The Top Ten Things I Love & Hate About Being Creative


by Lillian Csernica on July 15th, 2015

The delightful lady known as @jazzfeathers on Twitter has tagged me to participate in the Love/Hate Blog Challenge.  I’m a big fan of making lists, so I thought I’d give it a go.  If you’d like to see @jazzfeather’s list, visit her at The Old Shelter.

I LOVE

1) Making things.  Jewelry, cookies, Christmas ornaments, a good story.  Beadwork has proven to be good occupational therapy.

2) Being able to run away from home inside my own head.  In my imagination there’s always a road not taken.

3) Hanging out with other creative people.  Hearing them talk about how they see the world and process their sources of inspiration.  My creative drive to write has taken me to groups and lectures and conventions, to other states and even to other countries.  In my circles we say “Only writers really understand writers.”  I wonder if that’s true for painters, sculptors, dancers, musicians, et al?

4) I’ve spent most of my life reading, writing, going to the movies, and watching way too much TV.  I’ve explored acting, dancing, singing, playing an instrument, and making a really terrible science fiction movie (high school project).  My creative streak has taken me in a lot of directions.

5) Being creative is an essential element of parenting.  As hard as life has been for me and my sons, there have still been those moments of shared discovery.  Finding out which types of music Michael likes best.  John’s first taste of chocolate ice cream.  Making up games Michael could play with just his right hand.  Making up other games that helped John learn the skills he needed to attend public school.

6) Creative thinking has proven one of my greatest weapons in the war I fight against my depression.  When the Black Dog comes scratching at the door, it can take a lot of work to make it leave again.  Self-talk, journal writing, art therapy, making something by hand, volunteering or just getting out the crayons and a coloring book.  Our motto at my house is “Whatever works!”

7) I come from a long line of creative women.  My mother takes amazing photographs and also draws or paints.  My grandmother wrote a society column for the newspaper along with having quite an adventurous life.  She once fought a bull in the corrida in Mexico and won!

8) I’m always learning.  There’s always something new to discover, to explore.

9) Being creative comes in very handy when my insomnia takes over.

10)  I’m never bored.  I really don’t understand how people can suffer boredom when there’s so much to see and feel and do.  One lifetime is not enough!

I HATE

1) So many ideas, so little time.

2) Sometimes when I get caught up in the rush of enthusiasm that comes with a new idea, I get carried away with it and annoy the people around me.  That has occasionally led to arguments, which are a real buzz kill.

3) Aside from more time, the one thing I need the most of is concentration.  I live in a world of relative chaos.  One change and all the dominoes for that day start to fall.  It can even spread to the rest of the week.  Stress stress stress.

4) I grew up with my grandmother often telling me to “get my nose out of that book.”  It’s astonishing how many people can’t stand seeing someone sitting alone at a table reading or writing in a notebook.  They assume you must be bored and feel some warped humanitarian compulsion to interrupt and drag you off to some “fun” activity.

5) Having an artistic temperament is not a 24/7 blessing.  Quite the opposite.  More than once I’ve asked my mental health care professionals whether or not I am in fact bi-polar.  Nope.  Not even uni-polar.  I have Major Depressive Disorder.  Creative people tend to live in a heightened state of awareness all the time.  That can and does take a serious toll.  It goes along way toward explaining why some creative people resort to substance abuse, either as a way to maintain the creative high or as a means to come down off it.

6) A classic struggle for creative women is the choice between art or family.  It’s difficult to enjoy being a wife and mother when you want and need to be left alone for long stretches of time so you can work on your art.  That’s not really compatible with the ’50s ideal of the Stepford Wife.  Times have changed, but for the most part, expectations haven’t.  I write when my sons are either in school or asleep.

7) Some days I wish my imagination would just shut up.  It would be nice to sit in a coffee house drinking iced chai and just watching the clouds drift by.  I suppose it’s an occupational hazard to see the tattoo on the back of the barista’s neck and invent the deep inner upheavals that made getting that particular tattoo so important.  You can take the pen out of my hand, but you can’t make me stop writing!

8) Knowing what I can’t have.  I can’t plunge into a jewelery business on Etsy.  I can’t spend as much time as I would like hiding out in libraries sucking up all the strange and attractive odds and ends I find on the bookshelves.  Worst of all, I can’t have any of the heroes that people my stories because they’re just not real.

9) The signs were there, from kindergarten onward.  Big vocabulary, avid reader, drawings more detailed, asking so many questions.  I was “different.”  I felt it, even then.  My classmates certainly sensed it.  For me school was either drudgery, extra credit, or a nightmarish social minefield.  A lot of reasons combined to create those circumstances, but I’m positive one major contributing factor was me being creative, possessed of the artistic temperament.

10) I have a very difficult time throwing anything significant away.  Mementos, theater programs, fortunes from fortune cookies, little plastic toys from the Boardwalk.  These are touchstones, gateways to moments in my life I want to keep alive.  The trouble is, when you’re a kid you don’t have that many.  Once you’re my age, the trinkets start to pile up.  Too much emotional energy gets tied up into those souvenirs.  I have to take it back, which makes me sad.

And now, I must tag ten more bloggers!

Patricia MacEwen, Juliette Wade, Reggie Lutz, Alex Hurst, Sue Archer, ruralspaceman, David Snape, Cliff Winnig, Emerian Rich, Setsu Uzume

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8 Comments

Filed under Blog challenges, Conventions, creativity, Depression, Family, fantasy, Fiction, frustration, Goals, Writing

8 responses to “The Top Ten Things I Love & Hate About Being Creative

  1. Loved your lists, Lillian. I can relate to a lot of them. Especially the #9 or the Hates. A couple of years after finishing school for good, one of my classmates organised a dinner with all of us schoolmates. That’s when I realised: Oh, that’s why I felt like a fish out of water among them. It’s because I was a fish out of water.
    And yes, maybe we don’t conscioulsy realise it, but we know. And our peers most certainly know.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha! Awesome list! And thanks for the tag! I’ll definitely tackle this tonight after radio day!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If we weren’t outsiders, we wouldn’t be able to watch the swirling currents – we wouldn’t even know we’re in the water! That’s a hard thing, in high school, but later – well, you know what it’s like to watch people at Starbucks and tag them with character labels. Good thing they don’t know we’re doing it, though!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: The Love/Hate Blog Challenge: The Top Ten Things I Love/Hate About Balancing Day Job with Writing | Reggie Lutz

  5. Alex Hurst

    #8 on your hate list is a big one for me. There’s so much I want to learn and do but it’s just not really feasible. I can’t balance the time required to get GOOD at a craft and the sheer NUMBER of crafts I want to be good at. I don’t want to be a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none, so I stick with writing right now…. but I’d love to learn digital art, watercolor, and photography, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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