I have written many pieces ever since I was 14 years old. I have written stupid songs, some beautiful poems, and quite a few articles. I have written professionally too; I have freelanced for blogs, brands, and ad copywriting. Yet today when I look at my work, I feel so incomplete. Like those short stories which I started and never gave an end to. Or those one-liners I wrote and posted because I had no words to complete them with. Creativity was never supposed to be so tough. But I made it so for myself. I thought I would prove to the world how creative I am. I would build a career around it but somewhere in this struggle to find a way into the world, I lost sight of its origin.
I had started writing to express myself, and it came out so beautifully that everyone around me related to it and loved it. They all encouraged me to write more and I never stopped.
Alas, the vicious poison of capitalism and validation caught up with me. I lost the very joy of creating. I got lost in the new methods I learnt at my new college. I wanted to learn more of design, more of animation, more creative stuff. I dived into it all. But while struggling to catch up with the gram world, to post something worthwhile every other day, I forgot to tell a story.
The truth is we all want to hear a story, and we all want to tell a story. So, today I cleared the haze around my gram-world cravings of getting more likes and views. I am not a brand that thrives on these metrics. I am a person who wants to tell a story. Why should I stop myself or be scared of criticism which stops me from expressing myself? I got lazy, I wanted comfort in the number of “likes” I would get each time I posted something.
In my professional life, I have seen the creative team struggle and grind themselves to the core. No one is happy. Advertising agencies want to produce as many creatives and as much copy as possible but no one thinks about that one person who spends hours writing a copy or making the designs. This is not creativity. Creative work at the cost of personal life and peace is not worth it. But just as I was poisoned by the vicious circle in my personal endeavours of creativity, creative professionals are stuck in theirs in their professional lives.
When will someone notice this? When will creativity become free? Every great art and literary movement started at the peak of an established entity. Maybe the time has come for another movement in creativity.
In the end, we just want to express ourselves. I will restart my process of expression. You must try too.
In this process would we be able to break the validation chain? I cannot say. We can’t survive without feeding the mainstream social media algorithms. All we can do is try to be true to ourselves.
Give yourself some time, break away from the capitalism, break away from the metrics, and just be you.