Creativity: Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight
A collage picture of a person with their brain exposed.

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The rollercoaster ride of creativity is not all giggles. Sometimes you wonder why you bought the ticket in the first place.
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Creativity. Sometimes it feels like a curse. Seriously, what’s the point? You spend endless hours working on something that maybe someone will like but most likely no one will ever even see, watch, hear, read or whatever.

Then you sit back and watch all those far less talented caitiffs get all the fame and glory. You wrote a better song, played a better solo, cut a better disc, filmed a better sequence, pulled off a better performance, dropped a better mix but no, you get no thanks, no respect, no kudos and certainly no (worthwhile) pay check.

You sit there waiting to sign on or clock in or whatever yet Billy No Talent is on the radio/tele/internet again being feted as the greatest thing ever and you can’t even work out where the next pint’s coming from.

So why do you do it?

Why do you bother?

So you stop. You vow never to do it again. Because, hey, who cares? It’s just a waste of time, money and effort and no one’s interested. Yeah, maybe you do get a few acknowledgements here and there, but no one buys it, gives it a like or shares it. Not like that video of a monkey sticking its finger up its arse or that cat ‘playing’ the keyboard.

Back with a Bullet

So you stop. You say never again but a few weeks later it’s back. That urge. It starts as a niggle but keeps on growing. It starts clawing at you. That strange force in your heart, stomach and brain. You can’t stop it. Something says you’ve gotta continue. To do it all over again, to jump back on that endless merry-go-round of anti-climax and disappointment, to embrace yet another false dawn filled with hope that never comes to anything because if you don’t, you ain’t you. And it won’t go away.

Ideas start creeping in.

Lyrics, sounds, images, whatever.

Sometimes they come fully formed.

Sometimes just suggestions jumping out from daily life.

It’s like the universe sending you signals.

Ignore them and it feels worse than when you were banging your head against a brick wall in the first place. You just have to start again. Start a new project. And this time, maybe just this time, it’ll work. Probably not, but as the Japanese say, nana korobi ya oki: fall down seven times, get up eight.

Notes and Credits

The original version of this article first appeared in issue 34 of Point Blank Teesside, which you can download as a free PDF here.

Words and pictures (excluding video embed thumbnails) © Ignatius Rake.

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