I read a very interesting article today about how to nurture creativity in children – basically leave them alone. Here’s the article.
This got me thinking, this is how much parents let me grow up, and it worked out pretty well. I had my days and summers free to do what I liked, and they supported me when I wanted to pursue something. Because I had all this free time, I was able to actually do stuff out of the ordinary like write my long Escaflowne fanfictions, play hours of DDR, experience some epic video games, make lots of friends who loved the same thing, study Chinese, study math, study computer science, and now when I look back, it was some of the most productive years of my life.
Because I wasn’t forced to do it, I actually enjoyed the piano when I tried, so it was fun when I practiced. I wanted to get better for myself, not for anyone else. When I wanted to keep going with it, my parents supported me by buying me a piano, then years later when I didn’t want to continue with lessons, they didn’t make a big deal out of it. So now, it’s still a joy to play.
This all makes me think about what life is like as an “adult”. After graduating university, life has gotten more and more filled with things that take up free time. The rigidity of work, combined with home responsibilities, sleep, rest, and family obligations, leave little time for wandering. There’s less room to explore, less opportunity to let that spark of creativity ignite, let alone the energy to pursue it. When I’m not working, I’m recuperating from work.
Even the funnest things aren’t fun after a while if they’re forced. That can happen with work, hobbies, relationships, anything.
I want to give myself more time to be creative again. To do good creative work that I enjoy, that isn’t forced. I can’t wait for adventure time!