The plight of the uncreative

by Lorin Michel Saturday, August 16, 2014 9:24 PM

I am, on this day, faced with the reality that I am uncreative. I am hoping that it is but a temporary affliction. It happens occasionally, like waking up with a headache or a cold. As I lie in bed, I can feel the pressure of a temporary malady pushing on my temples from the inside, making my sinuses ache dully. I want to sleep but I can’t because of the nature of the plight. In the case of a headache, I simply take three ibuprofen, one more than the recommended dose. The recommended dose is never enough. A cold must run its course, a saying I’ve never liked but that I know to be true. There’s not much that can be done other than to ignore it, suffer in silence, and blow my nose frequently.

What to do when I awake to find the uncreatives knocking?

There are several choices. I can roll over, pull the covers up and hope that the air conditioner kicks on soon because of the stuffiness of the room. Body temperatures always rise upon awakening and thus the room suddenly becomes thick and warm. If the air comes on, I can sleep a bit more and perhaps re-awaken to find that the uncreatives, like the Jehovah’s Witness, have gone to the next door in hopes of finding someone to pester.

I can get up, pull together some type of lazy wardrobe, and ignore the uncreatives. I find this to be a useful tactic for many things in my life that I’m not crazy about. Stressed about money? Don’t think about it and know that the mailman will eventually produce a check or five from delinquent clients. When the enormity of the house project threatens to overwhelm me, a curious and cataclysmic storm of fear and self-pity, I practice active denial. It’s an unrecognized psychological technique, invented by me when I was feeling more creative, and shared with colleagues who have also adapted it as a general rule of avoidance.

I can pretend. Pretending works quite well in other aspects of my life. I pretend daily with clients, convincing them that I’m creative, that I’m a nice person, that I’m funny; that I’m worth their investment. I scare myself sometimes. I have no doubt that I frighten them as well. But the pretending appears to work as I remain busy and active. I can pretend on this Saturday that I am actually creative, if not talented. Sometimes, in the right light, when I’ve remembered my glasses, I can see talent from my back patio.

I can succumb, wallow and finally accept. The problem is that I’m not big on wallowing. It is hugely unproductive. And acceptance is something I’ve long had a problem with. It’s right up there with contentedness. I’m content in some things, not in others. I accept that the day is lovely. I do not accept the uncreatives who have arrived to play.

Therein lies the plight. Uncreatives usually happen when I’m unusually tired. I say unusually because I spend most of my life in a state of tired. I have long teased that I was born two weeks early and have been trying to catch up ever since. Though given the size I was as a baby, I think it more likely that the doctor’s calculations where off. After all, it was a small town in 1961. Technology wasn’t even as advanced as what we see on the Showtime series Masters of Sex, an extraordinary recreation of Ben Masters and Virginia Johnson of Masters & Johnson fame.

That’s a creative show. The writers on it obviously don’t suffer the plight. What’s this writer to do then, on an otherwise beautiful Saturday? I think I might go to the mailbox, then to the bank to deposit the checks I’m sure are waiting for me; to the grocery store where I hope to be inspired to cook something luscious for dinner. I will ignore and actively deny the uncreatives and hope that they find no refuge anywhere else in the neighborhood and are instead forced out of town.

There. That will show them.

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