Why I Create and the Creative Fear

“Reality is the enemy of imagination.” Hans Zimmer

At the age of 19, I didn’t know what I wanted in life. In high school, I began a news website called Jefferson Youth News, but I lost interest in it. I listened to detractors who told me there was no point in entering journalism. I then decided to set my piercing intensity and passion for words into creative writing.

The results: five short stories that I never released, and the 1st draft of my screenplay Reckless Abandon.

Again, I foolishly changed my career path—my anxiety took over. I told myself that I wasn’t good enough to write. But at the same time, I loved everything I did and was proud of what I was producing. I feel the same thing today. I feel dumb when I write, yet I’m excited by my writing. The funny thing is I’m not the only one—every artist kind of hates themselves and their work.

It took another painful two years for me to calm down. I failed several times as I chased different career paths. Until I finally accepted the reality that I was a journalist and a creative writer. This is what I wanted to do when I was eighteen, and there is no reason why I should do anything else.

I guess the toughest part was accepting failure in my career path; it was easier to accept failure chasing careers that I wasn’t interested in then the career I wanted to do.

But my story isn’t unique—the anxiety of failure and interpersonal relationships force some people to choose careers they never had an interest in.

This leads to depression. To some, it’s a life that isn’t worth living, yet they still live it. To me, that sounds more like an existence with nothing.

Creating means failure. It means testing out ideas and showing it to other people, and sometimes failing to reach anyone. We have an idea of what we created and then we have other people’s interpretations. Sometimes, we can’t listen to critiques, and other times we need to listen to other people. It’s up to us to choose, and it’s hard to know when.

Every single project feels like the most important thing you’ve ever done—and it also feels like a waste of time. But, you’re not happy until the project is over, and then it’s on to the next one.

To most people, it doesn’t make sense to pursue a creative career. There is a lot of financial risks because most people who produce art don’t make money. It doesn’t make sense for the artist, but we still go for it. Why? Because there isn’t a life worth living without it. We would rather be poor doing what we love than rich doing something we hate.

Guidance counselors provide horrible advice in the interest of ensuring a bright financial future. I was swayed not to do journalism by a counselor because they said there was no money in it. First off, they are wrong—there is money—but let me decide my path and provide advice on the best way to pursue my career.

A career in writing doesn’t make sense. But we should take the chance, and just do it. We shouldn’t respect reality, and should only be interested in creating our own reality.

So, let’s not live in reality—let’s create.

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