Random Thoughts Vol.6: Inside The Creative Mind
My friend Jesse once said “creative people need to stick together.” He said this after telling me “you are a really good writer.” Jesse is a musician who has since moved to L.A. He told me this as though he was stating an unofficial declaration, like he wanted to start some type of unofficial coalition of creative people. I got where he was coming from, but I really didn’t need a reminder. I think creative people are naturally drawn to each other. You could insert the cliché about birds of a feather flocking together. I think those who are involved in some type of creative endeavor have a similar mind frame, even if they are working in different creative ventures.
Throughout my teens and into my early twenties, I was surrounded by musicians. I was a teenage punk rock fanatic, and many of my friends were in bands, but I never was. I took guitar lessons for about a year, but I didn’t stick with it. I could put together a few chords, and the only song I could play was “Substitute.” (not the original by the Who, but a cover version by the Sex Pistols that I learned to play off a cassette, that’s right cassette, I had of the Greatest Rock’n’Roll Swindle album) I really wanted to get a band going, but it never panned out. All of my friends who played instruments were already in bands. I eventually put the guitar down, but by then, I was already starting to cultivate my true talent–writing.
At age 14, I started doing my own xeroxed fan-zine. I did it for four years. It wasn’t anything professional in the least bit, but that’s punk rock, a music scene where the more conventional conventions of the mainstream rock scene were diminished. I didn’t need press credentials to interview the bands I was listening to. I would just show up to the show with a tape recorder, and they would agree to an interview. That was the thing about punk rock,/independent music: the barriers separating fan from performer were diminished, but it wasn’t completely egalitarian. Human beings are human beings, and in any social environment, movement or scene, a social hierarchy will exist, even if that’s what someone says they are opposed to.
Punk rock helped me to strengthen my writing skill. When I would get a new CD, record or demo tape, I would write a review. I would send issues of my zine to the bigger, more established zines like Maximum Rock’n’Roll and Flipside, and in response to reviews in those zines, I would have people sending me their D.I.Y. Xeroxed works, along with bands sending music for review. As I didn’t have a knack for playing guitar, I did have a natural knack for writing.
As those who read this blog know, I have a major issue with the promotion of egalitarianism. I’ve come to view it as the biggest politically correct lie of the modern era. To those who say all people are all equally capable of anything and have equal capacity for all things, you can’t honestly believe that? For someone to believe that, they would have deny what the senses record, what the eyes see. They would have to ignore differences in personality.
I learned in a behavioral psych class that personality is a fixed trait. By the time you enter Kindergarten, the basic constructs of your personality have already been forged. Of course, life changes will occur, but many basic elements will stay the same. Behavior can be modified, but personality is a stable fixture, and in politically correct social circles to talk about personality being carried through genetics, through DNA has become a no-no, even when studies have been conducted that show a genetic influence on personality and behavior, see studies with twins who were separated at birth and united later and found they have identical personality traits, even right down to body posture and whatnot.
Have you ever thought that maybe some of my personality traits are part of the reason why I’m a good writer? I think a lot; I’m introspective and observant; I spend a lot of time in my own head. Friends have told me that I spend too much time in my head, so much so that it can inhibit social interaction. If I didn’t possess these personality traits, then maybe I would never have been drawn to writing and journalism in the first place.
I’ve never been one of those Ferris Bueller types, the type of person who can fit in with any crowd. There are certain types of people I get along and certain types of people I don’t get along with. On campus, that can even apply to particular majors. I’m really not to fond of PR majors. Conversely, I tend to seemingly naturally get along with broadcast media majors. We are both training to work in the media. I don’t know what it’s like to edit video footage or schedule a video shoot, but I do know what it’s like to stay up till 4 or 5 in the morning working on a story because I have a deadline to meet. The commonalty is in the sacrifices made by those who are serious about their craft , even if the formats differ.
A handful of students in the broadcast media department at UCM are really doing some things. I’ve done stories on some of their work. In all of these cases, they were not stories I was assigned: I saw a trailer/video of one these cats’ productions, and then went to the managing editor of the paper I write for, asked permission, had the story idea approved, and I was then off and running putting it together. The working relationship I have with some of the people in the broadcast media department is a symbiotic one. I’m helping them, and they are helping me: I’m giving them exposure, press coverage, and they are helping me by giving me something interesting to write about. I know the way the average student’s mind works: The average student is more likely to pick up the campus newspaper if the headline is about a student whose You Tube video is blowing up verses a story about the faculty senate.
I’m happy when I see that someone I’ve done a story on is happy with the outcome. In the case of the broadcast media students whose projects and productions I’ve covered: How many new fans did they gain because of the story I did? How many people were informed about something they didn’t know about before? I know what it’s like to work diligently on something and feel like your work is not being acknowledged. I also know the feeling of exhilaration when your work is finally acknowledged.