This is Why You Need to #KeepCreating

Read up on why #KeepCreating is the movement we should be paying attention to.
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My whole life, all I did was create.

From crayon art when I was in preschool to slightly-evolved sketches in elementary and even stream of consciousness essays in high school. And it didn’t stop there, of course.

Yet I can’t even begin to list down every interest, experiment, or creative love affair I went through. Some were phases – I really loved to draw when I was younger though I doubt I can create anything decipherable now if I tried. Some have stayed until now – my whole life, I’ve been writing, and now still I’m writing.

In fact, while you’re reading this, I bet you’re remembering your own courtship with different kinds of art. You know, ballet at age five. Oil paint at age fifteen; watercolor at sixteen. Music at eighteen; music videos at twenty.

We’ve always been creating. And that’s wonderful.

But somewhere along the way, we stop creating. And that’s not wonderful.

You know, college happens. Or real-life adulting-work happens. Starting a family happens. Getting kids happens.

Everything happens.

There’s no time to be painting or singing or writing that future New York Times bestselling novel. There’s simply no time at all.

I’m late, I’m late, I’m late, says the White Rabbit, glancing at his pocket watch before scampering away.

No time, no time, no time, says Everyone, casting aside half-finished creative projects before forgetting them forever.

When did we stop creating?

When I started my first job, I was terrified that I’d never have time to write again. That I’d never put pen to paper, that I’d forget how it felt to let the words come out and string themselves together in that way they always do. That I’d just stop trying, period.

I was afraid that new non-creative beginnings meant the death of my creative endeavors. That creating was a door I needed to close while “the rest of my life”…happened.

That creating was going to become a once-in-a-while thing, an occasional hobby, an indulgence like the chocolate chip cookies my mother makes that I tell myself to eat only once a week.

I’ve been a dancer for as long as I can remember. One of my biggest loves was improv and putting up shows and recitals. I did it right until my last semester of university. But when I left, there seemed to be no more room for mirrored studios and flexibility training. Just the “practical” things.

I was afraid that new non-creative beginnings meant the death of my creative endeavors.

In high school, I was in a band. I was a grade behind the rest of people in it – my best friends growing up. So when they all graduated from high school and went off to college, the band just split.

“Well. That’s that,” I’d thought. The music-making era of my life died when everyone went to college. No more creating music, I guess.

Art class was a big part of my life when I was growing up. Every summer, my mom signed me up for painting classes, art workshops. Once, I won a Best in Painting glass award that would later shatter into a million pieces and leave me no memory of its short life.

But when summer ended and the workshops closed and it was back to school, that was that. No more afternoons spent hunched over paintings of the beach. Instead it was back to textbooks and homework and afternoon cartoons.

When did we stop creating? I ask myself this all the time.

But I realize I’ve been asking the wrong question.

It was never about when we stopped creating. It was a matter of why.

When did we stop creating? I ask myself this all the time.

Why did we stop creating?

Did we stop creating when “life” happened? Or did we stop when we looked up from our canvases and saw someone’s entire portrait when all we’d done was a single brush stroke?

Did we stop creating when we suddenly had new beginnings in store? Or did we stop when we found ourselves spiraling into the trap of thinking we’ll never be good enough – might as well not try at all?

Why did we stop creating?

And while I don’t think I’ll ever get to the bottom of why we stopped, allow me to at least indulge in some reasons for why we should keep creating instead.

Keep creating for your future.

Hey, you.

Future da Vinci. Future Hemingway. Future Hans Zimmer.

We might not be there yet, but we’re trying. No one expects us to be fantastic at what we’re creating the first time. Even child prodigies started from square one.

Pick up that pencil, play that first note, take that first plié. It’s all about baby steps anyway. Why try making everything a competition?

You don’t need to be a professional artist, dancer, musician. But you owe it to yourself to get better at the things you love. So keep creating.

Keep creating for your sanity.

Hey, I get it. Life gets crazy.

But that gives us a ton more reasons to keep creating. Keep creating even when you’re as stressed as can be – it’ll take a load off.

Mute those notifications. Lock yourself in your room. Put on some noise-cancelling earphones. No one’s gonna judge – just do what you gotta do to unwind, and keep creating.

Justkeep creating.

Keep creating for your happiness.

Because we should always do more of the things that make us happy, period.

There’s no reason to not keep creating.

Science is already trying to show us that maybe one key to being happier every day is creativity.

And even if we didn’t have science, we just need to look deep down within ourselves to know that this is true.

Creating makes us better, saner, and a little bit happier every day. So why shouldn’t we indulge? Even if it’s just thirty minutes, ten minutes, two minutes.

And now that I’m older, I might not create all the things I used to – goodbye, Faber Castell colored pencils, we had a fantastic love affair those few years – there’s one thing I’m certain of.

For my whole life, all I did was create. And I hope to keep creating for the rest of it.