Monday, May 5, 2014

Create the Change

You ever know one of those people that say that all they have ever wanted to do is write but the only thing you never hear them say is that they have been writing? 

That is a common trait that is lampooned in everything from art cinema to cartoon network and nick jr's after-school programming block. The problem is that when you build something up in your head it becomes something else and for someone who fancies themselves an artist there is nothing more terrifying than putting your artistic vision on the line by bringing it to reality. Plus, its a lot of work.

Fortunately for me, that's not the excuse that gets in my way, nor has it ever been. I was always the one who raised his hand first whenever the teacher asked for people to read their homework out loud. I thought it was something special about me. I always felt that my voice came across far more clearly in writing than otherwise. Except around family or close friends I was always editing my dialouge and my head rarely was quick enough to keep up with my mouth so I often felt embarrassed that my points came across stilted and superficial. Sound familiar? Reading the diary of an eleven year old will include a lot of the same sentiments but they tend to have a lot more going for them then adults give them credit for...literally and figuratively (not to mention spiritually!)

It was always my goal to never be one of those non-writing writers. In high school I produced a body of work that I thought could be collected into a series. The blank page was my arena and it had always been this way. First it was with drawing. From kindergarten through puberty I spent every free minute after school drawing...usually dinosaurs, ninja turtles and generally bad ass looking things from the goggles of a hyperactive child of the nineties.

There was no reason to be afraid of what I was drawing coming out wrong - I usually gave them to friends or threw them away - there was just something inside that made me love to create something new every day. Eventually, organically, I progressed to storyboards and joined the art club. My first best friend was my mentor as he had a better grasp on drawing the details. For years this was my hobby...until it wasn't. Somewhere along the way I got it in my head that my art would get me no where so I gave it up. It became just an inescapable part of my past that I remembered whenever I was doodling away in dry lectures.

This period of non-creation was one of the worst period of my life. They corresponded with leaving my hometown, some tough transitions and a lot of adolescent insecurity. During this time my only creation was the person I was pretending to be in order to fit in...but, fortunately, it didn't work out that way. What saved me? English class.

English class was the first environment that encouraged me to write by giving me assignments. The freedom I had in choosing what I wrote about - within the confides of my assignment - was the first area I had felt truly smart or capable in since moving to South Windsor. Even better, it was the first time I had really enjoyed school since moving as, developmentally, I was a little behind from the start. It's amazing how much I still miss that environment and how badly I have wanted to feel that way in a job or club since...I still am looking for it, only know I realize, that I have to create it too.

Let your passions be your escape.

No comments:

Post a Comment