I love Project Runway. I love watching these crazy creative types make something from nothing and if I’m honest I like to see the judges rip them a new one when their creation goes horribly wrong. But as much as I love watching this show, it always leaves me feeling a bit sad about my own creativity. I’ve never considered myself creative. I don’t draw, I sure as hell don’t sing, and instruments would run when they saw me coming if they could. I danced during my childhood and did have a little success at choreography if you count 8th grade drama class and the musical but I don’t think that qualifies me to join the “creative people.”
Those people often have some sort of passion about what they do. They get lost in it, distracted by it and can’t live without it. If it’s not their profession, they find a way to fit it into their lives anyway. If you’re not one of them, I’m sure you’ve heard them talk about how they “have to have it” and are “starving to create” among other equally melodramatic sound bites. I can’t honestly say I have anything like that. I’m not particularly passionate about anything. I’m an accountant and while I enjoy the salary it’s a profession that makes people think you’re boring. And really, let’s be honest, there’s nothing exciting about sitting on hold with the IRS or printing someone’s paycheck or trying to figure out if a client’s new roof qualifies for an energy efficient tax credit. There’s a reason they don’t have any “CPA Shows” on TV alongside the “Cop Shows,” “Lawyer Shows,” and “Doctor Shows.”
But does that make me boring just because my job consists of mundane tasks? Or does my lack of a “creative soul” make me boring? Most people work in jobs they don’t particularly care for if not outright hate. Do they all have some creative outlet that fills the void their less than perfect job has left? Should I be developing some sort of super cool “creative” thing that will let people know that I’m hip and I “get it”? I can’t really see myself investing money in photography equipment and classes just so my desktop background doesn’t look like a kid stole my camera and tried to take a picture of his butt.
Cause let’s face it, creative people are cool. They wear cool clothes and have self-esteem and say words like “inspiration” and “muse.” They seem to exist on some other plane where everyone listens to Radiohead and owns a beret. And while they’re probably just wearing that beret to distract you from the fact they’re total d-bags like everybody else, you still get a little jealous, don’t you? Like they’re plugged into something you’re missing. That’s probably why so many people are trying to sell crafts online. We all want to pretend we’re creative so we can be a part of that exclusive group.
So that brings me to my original question. Do I have to be creative? Will it make me cooler, more interesting, have better fashion sense? (I already own a beret.) Maybe. Or maybe just enjoying and harshly critiquing other people’s creative endeavors is enough. Those who can do and those who can’t criticize, right? I guess I’ll just have to be content appreciating and try not to be too mean because it takes a lot of courage to put your creative self out there.