Cristian Mihai (born 25 December 1990) grew up in Constanta, Romania. And he’s still growing up, or at least trying to. Sometimes he writes. Sometimes he gets lucky and writes something good. His favorite painting is “Wanderer above the Sea of Fog” by Caspar David Friedrich. He can’t, however, draw a straight line. No matter how much he tries. Not even with a ruler. And, please, don’t ever ask him to sing.
I can tell you only that when you find this muse, every civilized instinct in your soul will disappear. You’ll suddenly feel this itch, impulsive as hell, a complete disregard for rules or consequences.
Work without mercy. Forget to eat. Forget to sleep. Forget to take a shower. Those things don’t matter.
In 2009, during an interview, radio host Ira Glass shared rare insights into what it means to be a creative. The kind of insights that are just at the edge of our mind’s peripheral vision, he managed to pull into focus an often overlooked element about the act of creation.
What drives us to create in the first place is not a desire to play god, but rather our hunger to feed our souls with as much art as possible.
A lot of creatives seem to think that you have to suffer in order to create real art. For a long time I thought so myself. I think there’s something about the definition of the artist… a misunderstood individual with a reckless behavior, prone to addictions and depression, all the good stuff. And there are numerous examples of writers, painters, singers, who lived complicated lives, indeed.
In the sixteen years since I wrote my first story, I’ve published five books, thousands of blog posts, and written a billion or so words that I later deleted.
When I first got started, one of my biggest fears was that I’d run out of ideas. I was concerned that I would burn out, that there won’t be any stories or words left in me. This doomsday scenario would play in my brain, over and over again, and for this reason I became a hoarder of… ideas.
Over time I’ve learned a really important lesson about creativity, and the human brain…
“Archaeologists have not discovered stages of human existence so early that they were without art. Right back in the early morning twilights of mankind we received it from Hands which we were too slow to discern. And we were too slow to ask: FOR WHAT PURPOSE have we been given this gift? What are we to do with it?” — Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
I think I wrote and published well over a million words by now. Probably even more. Who knows? Who cares?
After all, the blank page that I have to fill right now with words doesn’t care about my previous articles, short stories, or novels. All it cares is that I transform its emptiness into something worth someone’s time.
This is what being creative means: to turn the white page, the blank canvas, the empty document into something by sheer power of will, which is, at times at least, quite a painful process.
And don’t believe anyone who tells you that being creative can be effortless. They are trying to sell you something, whether it’s an e-book or e-course.
Anyways, here are some tips and tricks on being creative. It’s not going to make the process effortless for you, but it’s going to offer you a bit of clarity, which I’ve found to be extremely useful especially when you’d much rather bang your head against your desk than write another word.