I'm Not a "Creative" | Mike Wade | Our Unscripted Life

I'm Not a "Creative" | Mike Wade | Our Unscripted Life

I'm Not a "Creative" | Mike Wade | Our Unscripted Life


Creativity has always escaped me...

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a difficult time tapping in to creativity. I enjoyed drawing as a child but my drawings lacked something... I excelled at duplicating things that I had seen (I was dang good at tracing coloring books. lol) but rarely created something unique. As I got older, I became interested in writing, but I just couldn't tap in to creativity. Everything I wrote was about an experience and I for a brief time I kept a journal full of facts about my day (thankfully that thing got lost somewhere).

Jumping forward a few years, at the ripe age of 18yrs, I joined the US Navy and chose a technical job that would become my life for the next 10yrs. The military is not the place for a "creative" mind. Everything thing is thought about in a very linear fashion... Start at point A, do this and arrive at point B, when B is complete, continue on to C, and so forth. I thrived in that environment. The road map to success and technical troubleshooting was laid out for you (as long as you understood the "signal flow"). 

I left the US Navy in 2010 and bought my first camera in 2011 (hoping to create epic photographs of Hawaii, Iraq, and Afghanistan). Ultimately I failed. I browsed the internet and consumed gigabytes of meaningless data in search of some type of creative spark. It never happened. There was nothing that seemed to work for me. I couldn't visualize the "end product" and put all the pieces together to make it happen. My brain just doesn't work that way (even as I type this, I'm not sure where I'm going...)

So for the past 6yrs I have stumbled my way through this whole photography thing, trying to be "creative". Creative with light = fail. Creative with shadows = fail. Creative with editing = fail. Don't get me wrong, I have been lucky a few times and it was like catching lightning in a bottle. It came quick and left even quicker. Finally, a couple of days ago I came to this realization...

I'm not a creative...

A couple of days ago, I was interviewed by the ladies at The Unraveled Academy for their monthly podcast and a question about creativity was asked. I simply answered "I'm not a creative" (this is the first time that I have ever admitted this to myself) and it felt great!

Creatives are people that can push themselves to see and create things that aren't there. I am a fact based, a+b=c, person and will always be that way. Does this mean I will stop photography? No way! Photography is something I enjoy too much to quit. However, this means I can finally stop stressing about "creating" something. Instead, I will continue to do what I have been doing for the past several years, documenting life as I see it (hopefully with out the pressure to be "creative").