Creation is so much harder than creativity.

Creation is engineering, is sport, physically and mentally exhausting, the tiny motions, tapping of keys, scraping of pencils. Creation springs from creativity, is rooted in the imagination, but can only manifest through days of work, weeks of work, months and years of work.

Making art is painful because creativity is so easy and creation is so hard. We are our bottleneck. Artists can see the possibilities, a million and a million more possibilities, games, music, drawings, we can see them in outline, but in order to actually bring them to life it takes just so much goddamn work.

It builds up. That’s why you have to keep working, because if you stop the pressure builds up until it’s painful and the pain makes you stop working.

Also painful: The knowledge comes early on that without the creation, the creativity is meaningless. Those outlines flicker when you’re not looking. The thing that seems so so clear in the mind’s eye is actually just an idea, a kind of a nostalgia for something that has yet to exist. The thing you love cannot exist until you make it exist. Imagine if your favorite game or book or movie could only come into existence if you put thousands of hours of work in. Imagine no one but you would ever know this amazing thing existed if you never put in the incredible amount of work it takes to show them. That’s the pain. That’s the pressure.

Some people manage to create in different ways. Some people explore ideas before they fall in love with them, create out of expression instead of obligation. Sometimes my creation outpaces my creativity too, and actually that also totally sucks. When creation outpaces creativity, when I find myself without an idea and a blank page or empty music document in front of me, I feel lost in a sea of vast possibilities, uncharted, trying to create but unsure where to go next. They call it writer’s block, an ocean of formless form where no one thing can stand out. Too many ideas is the same as none.

I guess maybe, too, there are those whose creativity and creation speeds aren’t so mismatched, who can stay in sync.

I’m not sure if these people exist, but if so they can fuck themselves.


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