Which of your needs are being met by the creative projects you take on?

I’m starting to think about this question a lot. Like, losing sleep a lot.

Over the last few months, I’ve embarked on a creative journey involving publishing my first anthology of poems, entering my first short story competition, writing more regular pieces for the website, starting a podcast and generally focusing on my creative expression. But why? Not why as in “what do you want to get out of it”, but rather why do you do it, or “what needs of yours are being met by the creative projects you take on”?

Many people find reassurance for or stimulation from personal projects through the very notion that they are creating something, they are learning something (about themselves and others), they are embarking on a process of introspection, or even just that it is helping them to develop their craft (“cultivate your competencies”, as I’ve said before). This seems rational and a logical explanation, that seems to have slipped my mind over the last few weeks.

Lately, I’ve felt a little lost with the intention behind my creativity, and feel like it is a good time to take stock of the needs being met by these projects, rather than continuing to do them for something as meager as validation, or attention, which are easy to be consumed by. It’s very easy to create something with the intention for it to be consumed, with the idea that it will bring you some kind of personal validation, but quite frankly, this can be rather hollow and meaningless, if you’re not sure about why you’re creating something to begin with. I don’t want my creativity to feel like “high churn”, I don’t want it to feel like something I have to do on a specific timeline. I’d like to create and express myself with fluidity and as we go.

I wish I had a more concrete answer to the question I am posing for you today, but I will be taking some time to reflect and write, intending to draw some new conclusions about this. All I know, is that there was very little celebration around me completing a short story for an international competition, something which, in anyone’s books, would be an achievement itself. I’m very proud of the story and proud of myself for doing so, but I didn’t stop for one second to acknowledge this and I’m not happy about that. I’ll be thinking about this, and will circle back to this topic on the blog or podcast in the coming weeks.

– Conrad was here.