Photo courtesy of Creatrix Body Art, Byron Bay
I have these fabulous ideas, they strike me all the time, “Oh my god, I’m so going to do that! That’s brilliant”, I think to myself and off I go. For about a week. Maybe a month. Rarely longer than that. I was skimming through my downloads folder last night, looking for something, when I realised that I have all these quotes already made up into graphics.
“Oh my god,” I thought to myself, “I should get some kind of opt-in going where I send people daily quotes to help kickstart their day (does this sound familiar?) or maybe I could put some gadget up on my website so a different one appears as a pop-up or something when people go there. But yesterday? Yesterday was different, because I ALSO said to myself, “Seriously? Are you serious? You HATE doing that kind of thing for more than FIVE MINUTES. You get BORED. You can’t do anything long term. What are you thinking?!” And I’m quite right. On both counts: it is a great idea AND I’d get bored in about five minutes.
I also decided yesterday…
…hang on, I need to have a bit of an aside here: I’ve been crook for the last few days… another aside: ‘crook’ is an Australian term for ‘sick’ or ‘a bit under the weather’, it has absolutely nothing to do with criminal activities of any kind except for the fact that when ‘crook’, you tend to spend your time sitting in front of the TV doing not very much, which, in itself, is a criminal activity for someone like me who normally can’t sit still for five minutes.
Unless I’m sitting at my laptop writing, in which case, I may not move for several hours.
It’s not unusual for my legs to feel slightly numb by the time I finally try to get off the chair after finishing an article (all my health & fitness friends – not to mention my trainer – are going to give me full-on lectures about my appalling sedentary habits now). I could say that I’m “focused” or “single-minded” but “lost in my own little world” would probably be the most appropriate description of me when I’m creating.
I’m completely lost now. You see, the problem with being in my own little world is that I quite often get lost in there. There are no paths, and everything looks really bright and shiny and interesting, so over the fence into the next field I vault because the grass is really green there and there’s pretty flowers everywhere and then I find myself… perplexed as to how I got there and where I wanted to go in the first place. Which is exactly what’s happening right now; I have no clue as to what I decided yesterday or why I wanted to let you know that I’ve been crook for a few days. Where on earth was I going? Okay, right, I’ve remembered one thing, let’s start with that…
I also decided yesterday that I’d start putting up the recipes that I’m cooking. Recipes is where I started my original blog about 4 years or so ago; the kids were all leaving home and were calling me for the recipes for the food they wanted to cook. Rather than even attempt to write a cookbook (though they did ask me to), I thought I’d put them all on the internet and then it was easy to add things to and easy for everyone to access.
I had the great pleasure of winning a Kitchen Aid Cook Processor (a kind of Thermomix) a few weeks ago and I’ve been trying out all my recipes in that. I found myself writing the intro to the Cook Processor recipe page last night and saying, “I’ll add recipes every day”! Are you MAD? Every day?! It’s so not going to happen. I’ll add recipes as and when I’ve got the time and the inclination because they take AGES to do, and let’s face facts: I’d much rather be writing a story than setting everything out nice and neatly in a recipe.
You see, I have all these great ideas, I organise them beautifully, they look incredibly good and easy to read, it’s all logically worked out for the utmost efficiency & effectiveness, and then… I get bored. It’s organised, it’s sorted, it’s done, I’ve got the experience, I can do that now, let’s move on. That’s how my life goes.
What was interesting, though, was the title that I’d put on my blog page, the original blog page, I mean. The title of the blog page was “I wish I was creative…”
Okay, you can stop laughing now.
I’ve never considered to be creative. I’m starting to come to terms with the possibility that I MIGHT be creative now, but I’m still not convinced. If I look round, there are so many truly creative people and I’m not one of them. I don’t wear weird clothes or look like a hippy or behave in a completely bizarre manner or live in some shack in the middle of nowhere.
Errr, I might have to rethink that last bit about not living in a shack in the middle of nowhere. My house in Armidale actually fits that description quite well. It’s not exactly a shack, it COULD be described as a house. By some people. If they were short-sighted and not very picky. It’s not my idea of a house.
But it is in the middle of nowhere.
And I actually love the place. Not the house; I love the land & the location, I loathe the house. But I have Plans. Plans for a new house… that actually looks remarkably like a shack, now I think about it. Just better finished and with better insulation and way more comfortable than the word “shack” implies.
I’ve always considered “creative” people to be the ones who come up with something new and radical that pushes the frontiers of what’s acceptable, like Picasso or Salvador Dali. Or maybe someone who can do incredibly talented artwork like Michaelangelo or Monet. Or writers like Tolkein who can create entirely new worlds in incredible detail or others like Robert Browning who can describe things in such fabulous ways that the words just naturally jump off the page and form these extraordinarily intense and vivid pictures in your mind.
I am not in that category. I’m a bit of a weirdo, for sure, I like to be doing things, I like to try things but I’m not cutting edge creative. I don’t wear horn-rimmed glasses or dress in a peculiar mix of colours & patterns or go around with the back of my hand to my forehead wailing “I just can’t do this tedious life!”. Actually, I totally do that last one sometimes. John usually brings me right back to earth with a swift “Get over yourself” when I head off in that direction.
I do need to create. I create all the time. I might not be cutting edge or radical or any other idea of an actual, real ‘creator’ that I have in my mind, but create I do. I can’t follow a recipe; I have to do my own thing. I can’t write in the way that I was taught at school; I have to do it my way. I can’t follow a dress-making pattern; I have to pick two or three and merge them together. The classic example of that was my wedding dress. Keeley & I were watching ‘Brides of Beverly Hills’ yesterday (that’s how sick I felt) and she asked if I’d gone and done the whole trying on wedding dresses thing and I realised that I hadn’t. I checked out a couple of magazines, found a dressmaker and said, “I want that kind of top, only do xyz to it, I want that skirt and that train (two different dresses) but I want you to…” and ended up with a (what I think is) gorgeous wedding dress. No, definitely not a creator, right?
I read somewhere a few weeks ago, that the things we find easy are the things we discount as being of no value.