who I am as a creative
Lifestyle

Who I Am as a Creative

I think there are different types of creators, different types of artists. By that, I don’t just mean the literal different types: writers, artists, filmmakers, etc. I mean that everyone creates differently and thrives in different environments.

I’ve spent the last five years trying to create something on my own, primarily books or scripts. I’ve been trying to write by myself. Obviously, I have people read my things, and I ask for advice, but it’s primarily just me.

And I’ve been struggling. Trying to figure out why I can’t seem to finish anything or why I constantly get stuck or bored. After five years (or possibly 28 depending on how you look at it), I think I’ve finally figured out why I struggle so much. I think it’s that I’m fundamentally a collaborative artist.

I always thought that I was looking for other people’s opinions and input because I was looking for their approval, but I don’t think that’s right anymore.

I think it’s that I’m looking for collaboration. I’m looking for people to create with.

I think that’s why I loved grad school so much and why I’ve been wanting to go back to school. Grad school is this interesting combination of solo work and collaboration. You go off and do the reading yourself. You’re working on your own paper. But when you’re in the classroom, you’re thinking together. You’re sharing ideas and considering the text as a group. When it comes to your papers, you’re still sharing with others, discussing ideas with your peers and your professor, and reading countless other articles that inform your argument. No academic argument is ever made in a vacuum. When you write an academic paper, you are joining a much larger discussion.

And I think that’s what I miss. That’s what motivates me. The consideration and inclusion of everyone’s ideas. The concept that your ideas and work can be greatly improved by the ideas and work of others who you respect and vibe with. I don’t want to create by myself. I want to create with others. I want to surround myself with creative people who I respect and vibe with.

I think that’s also why I find myself drawn to video games and movies more than books. Yes, books require a degree of collaboration too. You have readers and editors and marketing people. But it’s still (typically) driven by one person’s creative vision. This can be true for video games and movies too. People will create things that are driven by their own individual vision.

But more often, video games and movies are inherently collaborative. You’re dealing with many creators who are doing their individual part to create something amazing together.

That’s what I’m looking for. So, now I’m looking into working on video games. This makes sense for me when you consider that video games are made by a team and that I spend about 80% of my time watching people play video games or watching video game critiques.

But it was a huge breakthrough creatively for me to realize that that’s what I’m looking for. I feel clearer now, and I feel like I have more of a creative goal. The result is that I don’t feel as aimless as I did before. I just need to find my people.

What kind of creative are you? Do you like to create solo or with a team?

Erin Lafond

Erin Lafond is a freelance writer and aspiring filmmaker. She's obsessed with superheroes and love stories. She's also a new mom, so she writes about that a lot.

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