The problem is, I’m not very. Creative, that is. I have no actual imagination. I can do the mechanics of certain creative activities, but it’s not really creating, properly, is it? Not if I’ve got nothing to say.
I can’t draw, for the life of me. I don’t have many regrets about that – I had a very foolish art teacher, at school, who tried to coerce me into taking art GCSE, but he clearly had a stronger opinion of my talent in that area than I did, because I never even considered it. It doesn’t matter, because if I could draw, I still wouldn’t know what to draw.
I am broadly musical. I play viola, for the benefit of anyone who didn’t know that. I don’t currently play very often, though, and consequently the last time I got it out (last week, for the first time in months) I didn’t think I played it very well. In any case, I stumbled with the same dilemma as playing for pleasure has always given me – I couldn’t think of a single bloomin’ tune to play. I play mostly by ear – it’s been so many years since I tried to play actual music, I doubt I could remember how – a side effect of which is that I don’t have reams of sheet music to look to for inspiration. I have the mechanics, but no inspiration.
The only really creative thing that I think I can do is write, but that’s fraught with the same problems. I can string a sentence together. On my day, I can produce a pretty impressive sentence (Aside: an ex-colleague of mine once congratulated me on being the only person she knew who could use “disinclined” in a sentence, without embarrassment. I don’t know if that’s really a good thing.). The problem is (have you spotted the theme yet?) I have nothing to say!!! The use of three exclamation marks in a row may undermine my point, here, but I’m leaving them in.
I have nothing to say. I can, when I’m concentrating, frame a half-decent photograph, but I lack inspiration. I’m bored of taking pictures of the Palm House. Do you know how many pictures of the Palm House Kevin and I have taken, since we bought the camera? Ninety-four. Ninety-four pictures of the Palm House in the sun, in the fog, in the dark, at dawn, at dusk, in the autumn… We’ve never managed the Palm House in the snow, but rest assured, as soon as the opportunity arises, we’ll be there. I feel uninspired. I have an urge to create, but I’m all out of inspiration.
You must not, however, run away with the impression that I’m facing some kind of artistic block, that will dissolve with a change in circumstances/weather/hormonal balance. I am permanently uninspired. From childhood onwards, I have been creative enough to need to create, but not sufficiently to be able to produce anything. And I find it, from time to time, very frustrating.
It could be that I actually lack staying power. Maybe I could draw, if only I could live with how long it takes to produce something, and how much longer than that to produce something good. That’s why I like to take photographs – it’s not dependent on my sitting around with a pencil in my hand, for an indefinite period of time.
Equally, it’s why, when taken in this sort of mood, I blog. I express what’s uppermost in the mind, rather than sit down and produce a major work of fiction that would take longer, and require more effort.
I have to ask the question, then: is this site really a very bad thing? It seems all too possible that it is a creative cop-out, that keeps me going, without my having to face up to the real task of producing something that might more closely resemble art.