Thursday, April 19, 2007

Creativity and Destruction

Look no further than the recent headlines and you can see that it's much easier to destroy than to create.

I've spent a lot of time over the past couple of years here on my blog, exploring what it's like to be an American creative male. Some of what I'm talking about, what I'm about, is universal and not grounded in our culture -- it's everyone, not even limited by gender.

I strive for creativity in my life. The word is not necessarily appreciated -- creativity is what we know of God. We can feel his love if we're lucky, but it's hard not to see the world around us as a creation. When I'm in the zone -- writing shell code, putting in a blog entry (like this one), I'm creating.

Something is there -- a thought, a piece of my mind, that wasn't there prior. It's an amazing feeling.

It's not always there. I've blogged about that too. It can be terrifying when the spigot of creativity shuts down for whatever reason -- I think I have to be balanced for it to happen the right way. Balanced in life, in happiness, in my marriage, in my career. When it's all balanced, amazing things flow from my mind and fingertips and I look back and think "man, where did that come from?" I think it's one of the reasons people are put on earth. We're here to imitate the creator. To make, not destroy.

All of the recent events remind me of how precious a gift life and creativity are. That destruction is for the fools in this world. From the people blowing up tanker trucks in Baghdad, to the small minds like the guy that shot 30+ classmates -- destruction simply doesn't prove much to me.

It isn't limited to twisted sheet metal and bullet-ridden bodies. The small, petty, political ways that people use negativity against each other to take someone down. I'm weary of it all. Over my career, I'm simply amazed at the stupidity. The "friend" that spends all of his time complaining behind your back whilst you busily solve the problems of the day. "I'd have done it like *this*" he brags to a co-worker or worse, a boss. Often they miss the fact that the target audience is fully aware that they're not being anywhere near creative. Still, it never ceases to amaze me how much critical commentary can be confused with creative production.

Something to bear in mind. Listen to critical feedback with a careful ear. Never miss an opportunity to share with people like this. I'm all about improving what's there. For what it's worth, the people that want to join your creative endeavors are themselves, often the creative type. The ones that always seem to have commentary, but never quite seem to get to that point where they themselves create or contribute -- these are most often the ones that are doing the most pretending. The creative poser, so to speak.

And they can be destructive. Their words become the bullets. The dead bodies are the lost opportunity to make the world a better place. Been there, done that. A word to the wise: Find people that understand, respect and protect your creativity. It's far to easy to work with people that are just as quickly tearing down the hard work you're producing.

And as the news so easily illustrates through black and red -- it's far easier to destroy than it ever is to create.

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