A Creator In A Box | Covid Journal
Throughout this time of endless darkness, the thing I have struggled with the most has been constantly losing a grip on who I am and who I want to be. There will be times when I lay in bed for weeks at a time and give less effort to school and work and it just becomes comfortable. But the feeling doesn’t last long. Comfort becomes stagnation, stagnation leading to resentment and finally a big burst of self- hatred.
This holiday season was especially crippling, as my family was finally struck by the virus. At the drop of a hat, my house went quiet. My parents were isolated in their room, two sisters shelved away in theirs, and the silence of the house was deafening. Through all this though, there is a positive. Having so much time alone in your room, sick to the point of delirium, provides a nice long breath and opens a significant space to just think. For those two weeks, that’s what I did. I sat with my thoughts and picked my brain and my heart apart to get answers on things that have sat within me for months.
Like I said before, the loneliness that the pandemic has hit everyone with has made it extremely easy to lose sight of who you are. For the past year or so I’ve felt this and slipped into the hardest depression I’ve felt, which I talked about in my covid diary from the last issue. I got to the point where I was so tired of sulking and being dark internally and externally that I had to snap the cycle. Within my quarantine, I looked upon myself and the dreams I have of being creative and always looking for a way to express my thoughts, feelings, and ideas and how for the past months I haven’t done much of anything to help myself succeed. I was buying things to create but never creating anything or talking about myself as a creative but feeling like I was living a lie. This needed a change.
For so long, I’ve been too scared to start projects or write my thoughts because I’ve always been concerned about whether people will enjoy it. But art created with the intent for consumption will never be the most authentic. I need to create for myself. To get out of my head and let the things that push me under be the things that flow out of me the most. Because that’s what art is, an outlet.
Creating for other people puts creators in a box, and that will never be art that the creator is genuinely happy with. I’ve started to set creative goals for myself that are fluid enough to prevent me from feeling boxed in but solid enough to be habit-forming. Two of these goals are to carry a journal with me everywhere I go so I can write. my feelings and ideas as I experience them. And to carry headphones with me as a form of escape from the busy life of college, work, and Americans all around me. The journal idea is an obvious one and one that I’ve heard come from the mouths of countless creatives in every different creative field, but it was never something I could get myself to stick to.
I want to change that this time around. So instead of formal journal entries documenting what might have happened on any given day, it will be a boundless spine of messy thought storms that will be a home base for further creation. Every idea needs a place to start. The headphone plan is more of a personal thing though, as music is just what puts me in the absolute best headspace and frees me from chains that hold me back the most.
I’ve felt this darkness for way too long, and while I know there will still be setbacks in the future, If I never try to take action, I will never be able to heal from what haunts me. So, for now, these steps to just put me in a creative space will be enough. And as I build these goals into long-term habits, I will become a more effective, efficient, and fearless creative. Every creative should be setting goals to create and set plans to create more and create without fear, but the most important thing that any artist, musician or any other type of creator can do is live box-free.