Why my creativity is stifled

This is what Jay asked me to write about this afternoon.

It has been five months since I last wrote something that I felt connected to, that I felt proud of. I have to wonder why so much time has passed. I used to think my creativity was directly proportional to my unhappiness with my situation, but these past five months have certainly shown me otherwise on that score – for I am infinitely unhappy at this point in time. My overall life satisfaction, while having its high points, is definitely shadowed by a sort of unhappiness.

I’ve spent time, recently, focusing on what has made me unhappy, and why I feel dissatisfied so much of the time. I have learned something from this introspection: I don’t like my work. I don’t feel at all motivated or energized by my job. I don’t enjoy it, I don’t look forward to it, and I feel absolutely no satisfaction in completing a task. I find the work to be pointless and easier served by someone more specialized in this department. While I could put myself into this job, and get the required work done, I find it incredibly difficult to find the energy, drive, and desire to do so.

The question now is, why do I find this job so disheartening? I have been told by plenty of people that this would be a great job, and a great opportunity to showcase my work. The chance to have articles that I have written being shown across a network of over 100 websites should inspire me to put my best work out there. It should force me to put everything I have into this job. This is a great opportunity, as I’ve been told by various people… and yet I still feel no inclination to do the work. Maybe it’s the content that is the problem – writing about artists or bands that I’m virtually uninterested in. This shouldn’t be a difficult thing to do, however… there are always numerous resources available on the mainstream artists of today. That, in itself, is a detriment to my enthusiasm. Why should I write yet another article about yet another well-known singer, when it’s already been done a million times, and probably better than I would ever do it, by someone who is interested in the subject. Half the time I feel as though all I’m really doing is re-writing someone else’s (better) article. This has already been done by those who are far more interested in it than I will ever be. I don’t like the artists of mainstream music. I don’t like writing about these people. I like music, I like listening to music, I like writing about the music I like… but my writing is more personal than a biography of the artist. It’s about the impact of their art on my life. My writing is about me. It’s always been about me. That is what I’m the most comfortable with. And maybe the problem now is that this sort of writing isn’t about me, or things that I’m familiar and comfortable with. Maybe that is my breakthrough in this. I need to get away from trying to write for living. This is not my forte. I can’t write-on-demand about things unless I can relate them to myself, or tell a story about something that happened to me. My writing is self-centred and egotistical. Go figure.

So maybe I don’t want to write for a while. Maybe I don’t know how to write about anything but myself. Journalism wasn’t ever something that I really wanted to go into. I didn’t like writing up the News stories for Radio and TV broadcasting classes. I didn’t really like doing the High School paper, except for getting to do layout of the articles in PageMaker. I was happy writing my articles for womengamers.com as long as I had enough to talk about in my personal gaming life, but once I was burnt out on gaming I just ran out of things to say, and I couldn’t write anything else about games. Now I’m facing the same problem with having to write at work… I feel as though I’m forced to do it, and that makes it much harder for me to get anything done.

This lack of desire to do any writing at work carries over into my writing in other places. I haven’t written anything in months besides my journal. This should have been a sign to me perhaps sooner. I could still write while I had a mindless, tedious data entry type position. I could still write while I was doing retail. Now that my job requires me to write, I can’t anymore. I don’t feel the desire to sit down and write about things that I see. I don’t want to describe the things I used to ramble about all the time. In fact, the only reason that I’m writing this piece at all is because it was assigned to me on my lunch hour.

2 Comments

  • cyn

    December 18, 2000 at 9:04 pm

    hmmm. if you like writing about how music touches you, why not write about that for a while? see if it sparks your creativity and filters into all of your projects?

    i know of lots of sites that need that sort of content.

    • Jenny Lee Silver

      December 19, 2000 at 6:09 am

      Possibly. Except that I don’t even like music anymore… I’m burnt out on that, too. Woohoo for being burnt out on everything.

      Can I go back to sleep now? Oh now… I’m at work. Damn.