Is creativity a need in your life? Not just something you think about doing every once in a while, but a need hardwired in your brain?
Just yesterday, we talked about what arts creators would try if they had to try something new. In the process of contacting several different creators, author Jeff Bennington sent me a longer response that I felt had to be shared in its entirety.
I’ve been reading Jeff’s blog The Writing Bomb for several months now, and he has incredible advice for indie authors. (The guy’s written four books, and Reunion is a bestseller. He knows what he’s talking about!)
Take a look at what Jeff has to say about the need for creativity in his life.
Creativity exists, therefore I am. And what I am is what drives me.
I’ll admit that I am not very left brained. I’m not as critical or logical as I could be. And to be honest, I’m not all that analytical. I am, however, the creative type.
I’ve worked with pencil art. I’ve played drums for over thirty years now. I’ve made glass mosaics. And I have written a few books, including a bestselling supernatural thriller. So when asked what I would do if I couldn’t write, I have a long list of creative outlets. The real question is, what would I do if I didn’t have any creative outlets? The answer… flounder.
How do I know this? Simple. That’s what I did before I realized what I was made of… I floundered. I’ve taken on all kinds of occupations: HVAC tech, full-time student, construction work, factory worker, small business owner. The variety is there in part due to necessity. I married my wife when I was twenty-one and we made a run of things, sometimes struggling. I did what I had to do to make ends meet and to take care of my family, so much of the time what I wanted to do wasn’t the question I’d ask. How I would feed five other mouths was my conundrum.
Still, through all of my life, my personal searching and wondering who I am, I’ve discovered the simple truth that I am wired to be creative. Doing creative things fulfills me. Creating something from nothing, whether it’s an idea, a story, or a drum part, gives me great joy. I don’t know which neurological points are triggered but I know creating, for me, is a good thing.
It took me nearly twenty years of my adult life to come to grips with who I am. It took most of that time to realize that I’m not wired for a daily routine of the same old, same old. I’m “artsy” as my wife likes to call me. I’m right brained. Don’t bother giving me the checkbook; I’ll have it in the red in no time. But give me a pencil, a laptop, some glass and a good adhesive and I’ll have something nice for you by nightfall. And if you play guitar and need a drummer who can keep a solid tempo, I’m Johnny on the spot.
But writing is my home base. It’s my release. It’s where my brain really stirs up the cranial juices and seasons my inventive stew. At this point, I might have a stroke if I went without my keyboard for more than one day. But I do have other outlets as I think many writers do. We can’t help it. We need to be artsy. It’s in our blood whether we like it or not.
It took me a while to realize this, but thank God I discovered who I am. I’ve learned that I can do without a nice car. I can do without a lot of money and nice things. But I need to be creative and I hope that knowing this has made my life worthwhile. And I hope that knowing who I am will eventually make a small difference in the lives around me.
Jeff Bennington is the author of REUNION, an Amazon #1 bestselling supernatural thriller, TWISTED VENGEANCE and CREEPY, a collection of scary stories. He blogs at The Writing Bomb and is the founder of The Kindle Book Review. He designs his own book covers, has been drumming for over 30 years and loves creating glass mosaics!
You can follow Jeff on Twitter @TweetTheBook and his blog, The Writing Bomb. If you enjoyed any of his works, please write a review and then look Jeff up online. He’d love to hear from you!