On Creativity (A Contrarian View)

It seems to me so far that the current reverb exercise, in which one reflects each day, intends to foster creative activity. The implicit assumption that one does not already appreciate sunsets and make things bores me a little.

I feel asked to prove once again that I can do artistic things and enjoy walks in nature. I have been proving this since I was a small child. Seeing the prompts I want to say:

I am sorry, I am sorry! I know I should not be so academically oriented! I know I have not played enough for you yet! I know it!  I promise, I will become even more artistic and create more and faster! Just please, please … do not hit me again, or at least do not hit my face!

Am I the only one who would rather take one art and perfect it, than dabble? Am I the only one who would like more time for science and less urging toward crafts? Thence my sentence for today:

Increases in creativity are recommended; I disagree.

It is a beautiful winter here and I have just harvested my first lettuce leaves. I am also growing cabbage, broccoli, onions, and cauliflower. I cook from scratch and I eat on plates I made. I take a sculpture class every week and I would like to work in metal. I am not good at drawing but I would like to learn  for these endeavors.

I designed and made web pages for several programs in my university, from scratch, writing in HTML on the server. The design and information architecture were mine. I design programs and projects which are funded competitively. These things take real creativity.

I publish poetry and prose narrative. I enter national and international creative writing contests. I do not like to play musical instruments, but I can. I can read music and dance. I do not like to do stained glass, knit, sew, or crochet, but I can.

When, oh when, will ye who insist women create more and yet more craft and art, be satisfied and let me get back to science?


3 thoughts on “On Creativity (A Contrarian View)

  1. Wow. This really resonates with me. I had a liberal arts education and do a lot of arty things, none of them very well but yes well enough – and I feel like a loser for having bought into this etsy seller mindtrap. I’m like a victorian lady – a little bit of piano and singing, sewing my own clothes, somewhat literate. Long ago I wanted to be a mathematician, how did I get strayed from that aim, I don’t know.

    1. Etsy seller mindtrap, Victorian lady … I love this terminology because it’s true! I am glad I am not the only one.

      A friend last spring told me I should sell crafts for a living, because mine are good. I said no, they are expensive to make and time consuming, it is not a living, and besides, if I were to give up my research job I would want to go into law or business, not arts and crafts.

      She said severely: my point is that there are people who do make a living by making things and selling them.

      Well, whatever: obviously she has not done the arithmetic. It was interesting that she so discounted all my I suppose inappropriately masculine interests and was trying so hard to push me to arts and crafts.

      My life has had much of this in it, being pushed to dilettantism. I do not like it as it feels like being prevented from developing, refining, individuating.

  2. Gender, gender, gender. In this culture I take care of children and associate with women who infantilize themselves as well as men who infantilize women. This is how I get so exhausted.

    Wanting science and not taking it: this is about having belief in self taken away, about abusing oneself FOR THAT or as punishment for having had this happen.

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