Dear Old Me / Dear Young Me - On Creativity



Dear Old Me,

Hi! I hope you're well! Now that you are an adult, do you still have fun coding and creating things like games and movies and stories?

It's tough for me right now, because I don't always have the right programs and sometimes they're really expensive. Either way, I hope you found a way to keep being creative and never turned into a serious adult.

~Alishah

P.S. Did you ever get your own domain name? Is it a Dot Com??

--

Dear Young Me,  

Most people will tell you that, as an adult, it's hard to find the time to be creative. They'll tell you that you have to "make the time" - but you can't schedule inspiration.

Being creative is like exercising. As you get older, it's less a part of your regular day. Just like I don't have Recess or Gym class, I don't have Art class. But you know, just as well as I, you didn't need either of those to be active. Remember how you'd run up/down the stairs, jump off the sofa, dance around in the yard. You were active into everything you did (even when it annoyed your teachers.)

I do the same thing with being creative: I work it into every opportunity I have. When writing code, a document, building a flowchart, a PowerPoint, I sneak in some creativity. Sometimes it's about the idea, sometimes it's the look and feel, other times it's just the execution. And it pays off! Everything I do always has a certain degree of polish. It's also made me a better problem solver because I see things as an opportunity for creativity instead of an impediment slowing me down.

And now that I'm a dad (you're going to love being a dad by the way!) I've found it really important to be creative in front of my (our) kids. Mom and Dad were always creative around us and you know how much that influenced your own creativity. Having my (our) kids see me have an idea, work at it, fail, try again, and produce an end-result - I think it's encouraging for them to see.

Something you can look forward to: Things will get cheaper. You'll have your own desktop, a laptop, but you'll also be able to do so much more with just a cellphone! You'll take pictures, record videos, audio, draw, write, and even code whenever and wherever you are.

So while at some point in your life it will start to feel like you need to make the time to be creative, don't let yourself fall into that trap. It's a sign your creativity muscle is out of shape - exercise it as you do your normal stuff, and you'll get it back quickly. And then don't ever stop - because when you stop, the quality of your work will noticeably suffer.

- Alishah

P.S. Domain names are a bit cheaper - but hosting is a lot cheaper and easier! You've owned a lot of .COMs over the years, but you have to keep an eye on how many you're buying because it can add up quickly. We should talk about why that is...

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