September 11th, 2017

How Insulting My Friends Made Me More Creative

byMich Manaras
Blog

Creativity is not something I’ve felt a whole lot of in the last couple of weeks. Is it because I just realized my hyper focus on blogging actually might have been holding me back from my music, or am I a little burnt out from posting so much?

Who knows. All I do know is I love to create, and whenever I reach a point where things aren’t flowing, it’s time to look in the mirror and start asking some questions.

I’ve been doing that, and I’ve noticed my eating habits could be a little better, my workouts, although consistent, haven’t been great, and my porn consumption has risen more than I’d like. In my experience, whenever the opposite is happening regarding each of the subjects I just mentioned, my mood is consequently better, my confidence is higher and my creativity flows.

So yes I’ve been improving on those things, and seeing the results, but the reason I brought up the subject of creativity is not only because I’ve been lacking it lately, but also because I had an interesting conversation with a friend today over breakfast.

I was a speaker at his academy (www.totemacademy.com) last month and I spoke about my journey so far and my transition into the pursuit of my dreams. It went wonderfully and he asked me if I could speak again, and I immediately accepted, but what would I talk about? I’m not going to speak there once a month and talk about my life story, how can I bring something more practical to the table?

My friend, I call him Trinh, but his name is Alex, brought up the idea of “chirping”, “shooting from the hip”. We often challenge each other with a barrage of insults only acceptable if they’re high enough on the creativity spectrum. Coming from ethnic backgrounds, we both have learned from a young age to be able to retort at hyper speeds; survival of the quickest.

Well I’m not going to teach a bunch of teenagers how to insult each more efficiently, but as we continued to converse, we realized it was bigger than insults. The further we zoomed out, the more it was clear that creativity is what makes the trash-talking game so rewarding. It’s no fun insulting someone with obvious statements, the real laughs come from a shot out of nowhere.

It’s been a muscle I’ve been developing for years and it’s allowed me to think outside the box without even being aware of it. If it’s raining out, it would be obvious to complain; if someone we don’t approve of is elected, it’s obvious to be negative. But the very nature of reaching for the lowest hanging fruit is in no way rewarding, it isn’t creative and it makes a negative even more negative.

I’m always up for a challenge, and I instinctively never gravitated towards the easy road. A rainy couple of days can certainly be a drag, but that’s a given. Why not talk about how we can get a little more work done when it rains, or how the cost-per-wear of our expensive rain jacket actually goes down the more times we wear it, or how maybe the rain might just wash away the ugly from my friend’s face…

I’m not advocating bullying, but close friends, or at least mine like to bust balls, and the creative component allows our minds to work and get a well deserved laugh too.

The point is, years of consistent out-of-the-box thinking has allowed me to see things in a much different light. I’ve been doing this so long that I’ve developed a muscle that allows me to seek out different perspectives of a given situation. Rather than taking any subject at face value, I’m actually thinking critically. It’s a constant mind exercise that’s helped me be creative, helped me communicate more effectively and entertained the hell out of me!

Using the muscle I’ve built up has been my greatest strength with regards to my creative process, and is usually the result of not overthinking the subject matter. That’s how my best blogs came out, how my best songs were written and how my best chirps melted the souls of my friends.

The importance of honing that skill and allowing it to reign supreme is what I think has been missing in the last little while. I’ve developed a very nice following over the last few months, and the subject matter naturally flowed out. However as of late I’ve been trying to recreate the persona and writing style of those blogs.

They resonated so well because I was going through certain things and being brutally honest about them, however I’m not always going through heavy duty things and a huge part of my personality is fun-loving as well as brutally honest.

Talking about insults, overindulgence in the x-rated department and creativity might not be as deep as dealing with tragedy, but they’re just as real for me.

I believe creativity can only really be tapped if it’s coming from an unfiltered place, and although it may offend some, if I’m thinking it, it’s real and chances are someone else is thinking it too!

My creativity slowed down when my body of work was beginning to paint a picture of who I was on a part time basis, ignoring the other half. And coupled with creating a writing schedule based on deadlines rather than feelings; slowing down was sure to happen. But I’m a full spectrum: the good, the bad, the ugly, as are we all. And the whole idea of my blog and what I stand for is being real.

When I started writing, I was on a new path, there were many uncertainties and lots of emotions. But at this moment I’m feeling really good, really free and this blog is my diary, not intended to inspire but to share when I feel compelled to. It’s about being truthful, listening to my gut and just going with the flow; it’s what allowed me to create in the first place.

I’ll continue to put my thoughts out there, but I can’t categorize or restrict them to a certain theme, my brain just doesn’t work that way; it’s all over the place. Trying to do so was just holding me back, and not as fun anyway!

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