Creatively thinking: Back when I created how I wanted to

When I was in high school and college I wrote and sketched and photographed what I wanted without much thought to how it might upset or bother someone.

I would definitely say I was much more in tune with my creative brain back then. I stayed up late creating either through drawing or writing, rarely concerned with someone seeing my work and casting judgments about it being “proper” or not.

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Find stock images by me for sale at Lightstock and Alamy.

During that stage I wrote poems like “Living Statue” but never showed them to anyone. After all, poetry wasn’t really my thing – my brother was the poet. Plus, what would people in my life think about me writing about the half-naked model in my college art class. An offside about that, I had no idea we’d be drawing half-nude models when I signed up for that class.

I went to a smaller state school and had no idea they were progressive enough to allow such things. Imagine my pleasant surprise at being given the chance to sketch the human body, but also imagine my complete embarrassment at being asked to stare at that human body for an hour class. Luckily my art teacher wasn’t progressive enough to provide a completely nude model. Ha! I might have passed out during class.

Over the years my poor brain took a beating from the judgments of others and I, sadly, let those judgments affect how I created. Even sadder is that sometimes I still do. Echoing in my head are voices of the past scolding me for creating the way I wanted to, squelching what I really want to say or show.

To this day, I find myself thinking: “Who will be offended by this?” “What Christian will call me out and tell me I’m not Godly enough?” or “Who will remind me (again) they only hire photographers who pose their color-coordinated dressed family with perfect backdrops?”

Luckily I find myself doubting what I create a little less than I used to, hoping I can someday get back to the early days of not caring what others think, knowing there will be some who like what I create and some who don’t and accepting that I can’t make everyone happy.

How about you? Have you found your creativity has become more stifled or more open the older you’ve become?

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Find stock images by me for sale at Lightstock and Alamy.

Written by Lisa R. Howeler

As a writer, photographer and former journalist, Lisa R. Howeler writes a little bit about everything on her blog Boondock Ramblings. She self-published her first novel, A Story to Tell, in September 2019 on Amazon. She's a wife and a mother and enjoys a good John Wayne movie and a cozy Jan Karon book. She's also a freelance writer and photographer who is a contributor to various stock agencies, including Lightstock and Alamy. Her photography work focuses on documentary and photojournalism.

6 comments

  1. I’m a good bit older than you, but I’ve found that as I’ve “matured,” my creativity has improved. And I know exactly why. Like you mentioned in this post, as I’ve grown older, I care less about what people think of me. And that is a freeing concept.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Writing has been a resurrected form of creativity for me within the past two years. I wrote a lot as a kid, and then stopped in my teens. My focus was on music for a while. I suppose music is the area where my creativity has been killed by the judgments of others. (The musical world can be extremely snobby.) I feel less pressure about writing…maybe because I haven’t been as involved in it in a professional or educational context.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Art is subjective but often we, as the artists, forget that and hear one negative from someone and decide everything we’ve ever produced stinks. But if God put a desire within us to create then we should create, no matter what others might say. If only I could follow this advice more often! Like I said, I’m working on it! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Such an interesting question, Lisa! As my years with chronic illness have progressed, I have found an odd, upside-down thing has happened with my creativity. While most of the ways that I used to be creative have been taken away from me: gardening, sewing, crafting, pen and ink calligraphy; new ways have actually begun to open up my soul in ways I would not have known before. Writing and poetry were things that I enjoyed from other people, never expecting that I would be sharing mine. And the “art” that I try now is so much more relaxed and free-flowing (on the days that I am able to “glue-book” or sketch some wobbly doodles in my journal.) God really does bring changes for each time and season. Thank you for this great soul-opening post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a blessing that you are still able to write because your posts are some of the most touching I read. I don’t mean it’s a blessing your hurt and can’t create the way you could but how interesting you still have been given the gift to create in some way at least. thank you for sharing that talent with all of us!

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