If You Want to Stay Creative, Rock the Boat

Creativity isn’t for the weak or the fearful. Creativity is for those who are willing to take chances, for those who aren’t afraid to do something outrageous once in awhile. And if you want to keep your own creativity afloat, you have to be daring. If you want to stay creative, rock the boat.

Taking Artistic Risks

Have you ever loved a musician or an artist, but slowly burned out on their work? You wonder why. Have your tastes changed? Have you grown out of their style? Possibly. Or maybe, they became boring.

We’ve all fallen in love with an artist who starts out strong, but then never takes risks. It’s easy to do, especially in a commercial environment. Think about Pearl Jam, or The Ramones. They’re both decent bands. But their music all sounds the same. I swear that Eddie Vedder just sings slightly different melodies over the same three chords. I won’t even mention Nickelback. But it makes sense for artists and musicians to play it safe, right? They found a niche and they’re making money. Rocking the boat could mess everything up.

But does it make you want to read their latest book if you already know the formula? Do you want to pay for music if it’s just going to sound like the band’s previous release? That’s a big fat NO from me.

True Creativity Morphs and Grows

I’ve been creating everything from poetry to ambient music for years. But I’ve gone through a lot of changes. I started out as a drummer playing rock & roll with my brothers. Then I bought an acoustic guitar and wrote country and folk songs. That morphed into blues, pop, and back to rock & roll. Now I’ve nearly abandoned songwriting for creating experimental music.

My writing journey has been similar. When I was younger, I wrote poetry with perfect meter and rhyme. Now, I mostly write free verse. My first book, A Train Called Forgiveness, was written in an experimental style. I used short poetic phrases and mini chapters. But I wrote the second book in a more traditional format. I’ve experimented with a variety of blog topics. I’ve used profanity in my writing, and I’ve refrained from using profanity.

The point is that I’ve explored my creativity and the creative process. I’ve taken some creative risks. I can afford to, I’m not making a living from my creative work. I’m a teacher.

Maybe It’s Time to Rock the Boat

I’m getting closer to retirement every day. These days I just teach my classes and dream about what I’ll do when I retire. I’ve been everywhere from the Redwoods to New Orleans to Missouri to Maine in my retirement dreams. And when I retire, I plan to continue to be creative.

But recently another idea has presented itself. What if I rock the career boat? Maybe, I should look into some writing positions? I have the skillset to be part of a creative writing and marketing team. Perhaps, I only think about retirement because I’m just stuck on spin cycle in my current career. But no matter what I do professionally, I’ll always rock the boat with my creative work.

If you’re a creative person, I dare you to do the same. If you always play it safe as a writer, write something fucking provocative. If you play country music, try a little punk rock. If you only take photos of sunsets, go take some pictures of cows. Just do something different and rock the boat.