There are few things as painful as hearing your own parents laugh (or facepalm) when you say that you want to become a writer for a living. There are few things as painful as other departments in university mocking you and your classmates because your course isn’t ‘serious enough.’ And it certainly hurts even more to know that you are studying for a three-year degree that will most likely bring you nowhere.
I graduated in Communications and, for those of you who may not know it, Communications is labelled as one of the easiest courses in my dear Sicilian hometown. But I didn’t do it because it was easy. And I didn’t do it out of hipsterism, to prove people wrong. I did it because I knew it was the right way for me, a weird but necessary step in getting where I really wanted.
Fast forward a few years, and my dreams haven’t changed. I still want to publish a novel, write a film or a video game, and I still want to make a living with my writing. Except this time, at least to an extent, I’ve already started to live off my craft. And I can be the one boasting my job in the face of those who have been stuck in the same rut for the last 30 or 40 years.
It’s hard to ignore that spark. Some do, and are filled with regret for the rest of their lives. I chose not to.
If you’re reading this, I know you know what I’m talking about. We all had that at some point. The Spark, I call it. The sudden moment of realisation, the day and hour and minute and down to the precise second when you realised what your path was in life. It could have been while colouring a drawing for your mom, editing a video for your sister, experimenting with computers at school. It could be any of these and more. But you can most likely remember the exact moment when you stopped and said: “I want to do this for the rest of my life.”
You can certainly remember the exact moment when you stopped and said: “I want to do this for the rest of my life.”
I’m not going to bore you with the stupid story of when I had my Spark. It’s quite unoriginal and there’s nothing poetic about it. I'm sure yours wasn't too filmic either. But there’s nothing wrong with that. Not all sudden resolutions have to look like they happened in a film. In truth, we are the directors of our own memories, and we are pretty good at that. What’s important is that it was meaningful to you.
And if you are reading this, I think it was.
Image credit: Stuart MacKay
Why I chose creativity
As a pretty complicated introvert, I have recently come to realise that the ultimate form of respect you can pay to a hobby is when you start to emulate it. Creativity is the ultimate expression of humanity after all, and if you love a certain thing, you will most likely want to show your love by creating something about it.
That’s why fan arts are born. That’s why books build on previous literature to build a brighter future for mankind. That’s why films try to capture a certain side of reality. And that’s why I love telling stories.
The rush that you get when you realise you are reimagining reality into a piece of creative work is unparalleled to me. Nothing, to me, feels as good as creating stuff. Be it a piece of code that works (man if I love that), an artwork that looks nice, a story that makes my sister cry every time she reads it.
When I realised writing could change the world, I jumped on the wagon with all my dreams and ambitions and have been riding that train ever since.
And I have never looked back once.
Why I would do it again
This world is full of sceptics. People who feel quite happy dragging you down with them, just because they never made it themselves. But creativity taught me resilience, just like video games – it taught me to keep banging my head against the wall until it breaks, or until it breaks me. And if the latter happens, it taught me to pick myself up from the floor, put the pieces back together, and keep going at it.
There is a certain kind of greyness about people who don’t create for a living. I can’t tell what it is, and I don’t want to sound full of myself when I say so – they just don’t seem as colourful. Creativity gives you a rush of life, whether you be an introvert or an extrovert, and that rush of life you are just able to communicate to the rest of the world somehow.
There is a certain kind of greyness about people who don't create for a living
Creativity makes your mind elastic and active. It gives you ambition, it pushes you to want more, and more, and more until you either reach the goal or find a way to adjust your scope. And in that, creativity also makes you a better person.
And most certainly a better human.
Image credit: Juice
Why I will never stop choosing it
That is why I don’t like holding any kind of grudge. That is why I don’t fuel conflict, rather I mend it and try to get to the core of the matter. Creativity taught me there will always be another way.
Being into creativity and in the creative industry just feels right for me. It always did, and I’m sure it will never stop being so. Creativity is the warmth of your home after a bitter winter night. It is like that for many, and for many it was and always will be a lifesaver. All of these professionals with an impostor syndrome, all of these leaders with a kind heart, all of these artists with a beautiful voice and an amazing story to tell the world – where would they all be, without creativity? Where, if not in the creative industry?
I’m not surprised that most of the creative professionals I interview for Creativepool will tell me “they wouldn’t know what to do without their craft.” I don’t think they’re lying. If anything, they’re being brutally honest with themselves.
Certainly way more than most of us can be.