Creativity Conundrum #2:
The Cool Factor
Another creativity conundrum has been illustrated all too well by the FOX television showGlee. In the show, a group of teens who take part in a singing ensemble, are relentlessly mocked by the school around them for trying to be creative. While it tends to go a bit in the direction of heavy handedness, the show has a point, most people who want to be cool are discouraged from trying to be creative. When I went through high school and later college, I heard a ton of derogatory terms such as "band geek," "drama fag," and "art spaz" that made me afraid to be creative for fear that I'd get ridiculed. Even though we don't stay in high school forever, there's a part of us that wants to keep our popularity up. This adolescent fear we've received from creative pursuits is a creativity conundrum that can follow us for a lifetime.
Here's the strangest part about this creativity conundrum for me. The people who we think are the coolest on a worldwide scale are beautiful actors, actresses and musicians who spend their lives doing creative things. Plenty of these people were picked on in school and later became celebrity sensations because of their talent and hard work. The biggest bullies in school will make fun of a girl for trying to sing on a tiny theatre stage and will then put a poster on their wall of their favorite teenage singer. It's a ridiculous double standard and I'm pointing it out here so that you can realize that popularity is a pretty funny joke.
Being cool has to be less important than following your dreams. Even the most popular kid in school or employee at the company is not guaranteed happiness. You are much more likely to be happy if you rise above this creativity conundrum and attempt to assert your artistic side. I used to think back to high school and wish that I had the same ability to express myself back then that I do now. Nowadays, I'm glad I went down the awkward, experiential path I did, because I might have never attempted to be a writer if I'd been as down on creativity as some of the other popular kids.
I realize that it's easier said than done to get through the rampant bullying in school. I know that some who have been burgeoning creative minds have been unable to cope with the pain and gave up on life itself. I hope that if any of you are considering doing something drastic, you realize that in a few years, the pain you're suffering can be turned into something joyfully artistic. The people who mocked you will be filled with a sense of emptiness at the creative work they could have achieved. Keep pushing forward each and every day and eventually, I promise, your love for all things creative will be worth it.
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Written by Bryan Cohen
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.
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