I used to look at those who labeled themselves as ‘creative’ rather enviously. There seemed to be a certain air about them. In Sri Lanka, the CCs (Cool Creatives as I called them) would wear dangly earrings and loose flowy clothing, sport multiple piercings/nose rings/tattoos, stylish flat sandals, have long, wavy hair, and smoke. They would also laugh easily, hug easily, and just look so comfortable with intimacy.
Stereotypes are fun. And funny. And interesting fodder for writing of course. But that’s where they end. Because the ones I admired are probably a drop in the sand of the actual demographic of those who live creatively. Not everyone who follow their passions always ‘look’ the part.
I would know.
Apart from sporting a few tiny tattoos, I do not fit into any sort of creative stereotype. I get intimidated easily, overwhelmed even more often, and can be found reminding my kids to eat/poop/sleep/stop watching TV/do their homework for the larger part of the day. I do not own any fancy writer-like clothes. In fact, I write best in old tattered t-shirts and worn-out shorts. I wear the same small studs on my ears every day because it’s easier than remembering to wear them at all. I do not smoke and barely drink coffee. I’m not a night owl and write best in the morning. I binge on TV and chocolate to help with querying anxiety, and sometimes take such long breaks after finishing a new story that I wonder whether I even deserve to call myself a writer.
Anyway. This is a rather long, rambly post that was meant to be about the highs and lows of trying to succeed as a writer, and instead ended up being a superficial post about stereotypes. Guess I am a writer after all, haha.
Bottom line (mostly to self): Being creative just has one rule. Create. Something. Anything. Even if no one sees it. Even if it’s as simple as changing an ingredient in a recipe you’ve made for years, or as complex as sculpting a statue.
Nothing else matters. Especially not your outfit.