They say confession is good for the soul, so let me just put it out here: I’m a hypocrite. Why, you ask? I love creativity—at least in theory. In practice, not so much. Creative inspiration is not the problem. I have lots of creative ideas, more than I can shake a paintbrush at. I’ve started countless projects that may never get finished. A year ago I promised two friends I’d do art pieces for them. One would think I’d be too embarrassed to let them down by failure to deliver. Apparently, I’m shameless. Boxes of art supplies are beginning to mummify in my basement.
It’s not that I don’t have the time to be creative. It’s that I’m choosing to spend my time immersed in popular culture TV. In my defense, what fills my obscenely oversized LCD screen is quite educational (After all, don’t they have master’s degrees in film and television? I think they’re called “MSAs” for “Master’s in Screwing Around.”) The truth is I’ve developed an addiction to TV. And it’s blotting out my ability to do creative stuff.
Yep, I’ve abandoned the world of art books and art journals. No more creative messes. No more rainbow stained hands sticky with adhesive and gel. These days my hands are clean, manicured, and wrapped tightly around my TV and Blu-Ray remote controls.
I can tell you who won The Voice, X Factor (American and British), Top Chef and Project Runway. I know who’s having a baby on Grey’s Anatomy and who’s having an affair with the US president on Scandal. With help from my daughter, I’m proud to say I know what Catfish is, and I can understand everything Honey Boo Boo says even without the subtitles.
But now it’s got to stop. I’ve clearly hit bottom. I’m a creativity coach for heaven’s sake. I need clients. Who is going to hire me if I don’t practice what I preach? So like any knowledgable blogger helping professional, I have three tips for myself anyone trying to reclaim their creative identity:
1) Don’t hide your secret time-wasters. Come clean about whatever addictions are interfering with more creative pursuits. Confide in a few friends. The jury is out on whether it’s helpful to blog about your transgressions to people who don’t necessarily know and love you. Will get back to you about the wisdom of that approach shortly. Maybe I’ll do a collage about the experience.
2) Get rid of temptation. My military son-in-law has agreed to rig explosive devices to my TV and computers, which will destroy my equipment if I try to watch anything but NPR. (Thank god for Downton Abbey. I didn’t mean that. Honestly.) If I value my life, I will have to abandon my TV shows and instead…
3) Redevelop a habit of creativity. Instead of clicking on Netflix after dinner, I’ll be heading down to the basement with the help of an archeologist to excavate my art supplies. Then I will use them. Every day Several times a week. I’m going to do this. Yes I am. I’m thinking about using my V-cam to chronicle my journey back to the creative life. It won’t be easy. Rehab never is. But maybe my story can get me a gig on A&E’s Intervention.
Finally, to my current and potential clients, I hope you are reassured by knowing that I can empathize with your life struggles. If I were perfect, would you feel comfortable with me? Hope not. Meanwhile, would love to hear your ideas and success stories in making your life more meaningful and fun.