At school, drawing and writing were my favourite things. One of my best friends is now making a life for herself out of the former as a tattoo artist in training (she's the one who drew the hugely impressive eyes at the top there and the other pictures below). We always used to sit around and draw pictures together when we were younger - mainly horses and girls we wished we could be - and I guess she never really stopped. Sitting and drawing all day has been her dream for as long as she can remember and now she's on the road to reaching it.
I, on the other hand, have always really, really, really wanted to write a book. But unlike many people who want to write, I have pretty much nothing to show for it. I have never been able to get beyond the first chapter and I don't think I've written a complete short story since school. The folder of snippets and semi-formed tales that used to sit on my desktop mysteriously vanished along with all my other important documents (Lord knows what I did that day).
You can't be a writer without practice, I know. My head is often filled with sentences and collections of words to describe what I can see in front of me or the odd little stories I conjure up. But I never write them down and they disappear (mistake).
The way life is organised for me right now means that finding time for creativity is difficult; when I do find time, I normally just browse Facebook or google random things (mainly restaurant menus). So I guess it's time to start making it a priority. I've been thinking about graduate jobs and stressing a bit lately; I always thought I'd aim to be a high-flyer and base my worth on my salary but I'm beginning to wonder what the point is. If I can't do something creative or something that helps others, something that makes a difference to a life that isn't just my own, then what is really the point of me doing it?
It's easy to lose sight of it when we're stuck in school, lecture theatres or offices. But I'm coming to realise that the world is out there and it will be just as beautiful and terrible whether I decide to aim high in a big company or not; I just won't really realise it's there. On the other hand, I could choose to engage with it, take life a bit slower and smell the roses so to speak. Do something that might not be the best paid job in the world but might actually encourage my humanity as a result and allow me some time to breathe and write down those little snaps of clarity.
And I suppose the question I'm now asking myself is this: Is creativity a product or a mindset?