- Friday, October 15, 2010

The Process of Creating

The journey of creating is a process of self-discovery. When one creates, one puts a part of oneself out for the world to see.

That's why creating and being creative can be a painful process. Sometimes when we're faced with our shit, it's easier to run away than to confront it. Rationally and somehow subconsciously, it doesn't make sense to confront something so true, so transparent, so honest. How good can it be to trace our fingers across wounds that have not properly healed? It is as if we're beckoning those wounds to tear open and bleed again.

But sometimes, exposing those hurts gives us liberty. Because we are daring enough to trace our fingers across those unhealed wounds, we can understand why we have what we have. And when we know the reason for our pain, we can decide if we like it or not. If yes and if it serves us, then sure. Let's move ahead. If no and we don't like it, then what do we want to do about it? Bury it? Be open and okay about it? Tell the whole world about it? Do something different? Apologize? Be authentic? Be honest about it?

At 95% The Advertising Academy, ad practitioners from ad agencies would come to be trained. Sometimes, I would have the chance to chit chat with them. There was once when I talked with this lady from Leo Burnett and she mentioned that when Yasmin Ahmad was still around, Yasmin would get the entire office to start writing script. Yasmin will then compile all the stories and read through them, take the bits that work and combine them into a meaningful story. Wonderfully, in the process of writing scripts for Yasmin, some find healing from their past.

This is because creating shows us our past and issues from both a first and third person point of view. And that's when we can decide what to do. Do we want to hold on to it so stubbornly, thinking that we are right, thinking that we are correct and it is due to us to hold on to such past and issue so steadfastly? Do we want to move on? If yes, what will we do? Do we want to judge ourselves as harshly as we judge others? Do we want to believe in what that won't aid but destroy us bit by bit? Do we choose to continue and dwell in our issues as religiously as we once had? Do we want to continue to numb ourselves?

We get to decide our next action - not just for the character, but for ourselves.

We also get to look deep within ourselves and the characters we are creating. By doing so, we can see for ourselves a clearer picture of what is happening.

But aside from self-discovery and self-reflection, we know that our skills aren't good enough. We measure our work with those around us and with what has been produced by great people. We compare and we conclude that we aren't good enough. Doubt might overcome us, and when we let that happen, it will eat us up. Slowly. Bit. By. Bit.

And soon, we'll find ourselves lost in the sea of faces, unsure of our own identity and ability. Lost, we would label ourselves.

And believe or not, that itself is also a part of us that sometimes we just refuse to acknowledge.

With that said, I believe creating is more than just writing stories that wow people. It's also peering deep into ourselves and being honest with ourselves.

Maybe that's why there aren't many successful creators out there. And those who don't end up creating, they end up complaining or criticizing oh so religiously about what is good or bad, right or wrong.

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