I consider myself creative. My soul is vibrant and unique, and my brain is too. It’s usually busy and messy with overwhelming thoughts, but between the clutter, I find my creativity – shining and glittering with vision. I imagine it like a rainbow peeking through heavy clouds. It’s colorful and radiant, made up from all of the rain that showered before it. My creativity can only be understood by certain people, like the people who stop and look up at the cloudy sky in search of a rainbow. But I know my creativity the best, as I stand directly at the end of the rainbow creating its beams of color.
I write to express my soul. Typing away on my keyboard or messily scribbling away with my pencil, my words spill onto the surface and shape themselves into little sweet sentences. It’s the only form of expression for me that feels like it truly lifts the weight off of my tired brain. I’m relaxed and vulnerable, and I feel at peace.
But recently when I write, I notice this overwhelming pressure to be creative. To have my words flow in all directions, and my sentences to be interwoven with immense complexity and depth – to write like no one has ever written before. The funny thing is, these writings will only be read by me. They’ll never see the world outside of their notes app screen or escape the old wrinkled pages of my journal. I feel almost stupid as if future I will judge the words I’d written at 2 AM on a Wednesday; that is if she ever goes back and actually reads them. And yet. Yet the pressure – the pressure to be creative. It follows me with every word and every sentence.
I’d be in the shower, on the train, or in the kitchen chopping carrots, and my mind is livid with ideas and thoughts. As my mind runs, I passionately pick up a pencil – and there it is. I go blank, not because I don’t know what to write, but because I need to be creative about how I write it. Minutes pass. Then hours. And I’m left feeling defeated by my creativity. I can never understand how my imagination, so colorful and vivid, leaves me dreary and gray.
So I’ve chosen to start not looking up at the sky and stepping away from the end of the rainbow. Instead, I run full force through the cloudy skies. I don’t care if my sentences are messy, and my words are jumbled. All I care about is that my thoughts are passionate and raw, and transcribed into writing – and I feel calm.
It’s okay to take a break from trying to be creative. You don’t have to rush. Your rainbow will always appear again, just after you embrace the rainy clouds.
Edited by Emiru Okada
Graphic by Satomi Shikano