Something creative that’s just for you

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A hobby is something creative that’s just for you. You don’t try to make money or get famous off it, you just do it because it makes you happy. A hobby is something that gives but doesn’t take.

Austin Kleon

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about forced creativity, about working under pressure, to deadlines and briefs. I don’t do this. I can’t, for me, it just doesn’t happen. I have to be engaged and interested, whether it’s photographing a piece of rubbish on the street or a beautiful view.

I don’t force it because forcing it kills it. Whatever it is in me, that urge to press the shutter, crumbles under pressure. And I should underline that, put it in capital letters, because sometimes, often, I forget. I don’t wait it out patiently, knowing that it will pass. Instead I prolong the slump by panicking and feeling bad.

I spent three years studying art at University, scraping work together, coming up with bullshit reasons for creating, when the truth was, I just wanted to. I didn’t need to discuss it, analyse it, to sit around in groups critiquing it, digging myself into a big hole and ending up so exhausted and confused that I didn’t create anything for weeks, months, even.

Not everything needs to be considered a potential career. If something you love ends up making you money, that’s cool, but that doesn’t always have to be the end goal. Some things you do just for you, for fun, to unwind.

Know the difference.

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