The Essay is based on Walter Mitty from the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, as a metaphor for our own creative journeys. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is about a guy who publishes the cover photos for life magazine. He is partners with the famous photographer and loses his Negative, the last cover photo for the last issue of the magazine. He has a whole journey to find the photo and connect to the girl he loves. The actual essay may appear here in a different fount for which I apologize but it will show up that way because I copy and pasted it out from my school assignment.
What is my Creative Identity?
Being a creator is about finding that place where no one has the power to tell me that I can’t reach my dreams. It is in the act of creating that I find my strength when I feel like I have nothing left at all to hope for. It’s in the days that I want to give up so badly, that creation heals my soul.
Walter Mitty lost the Negative for the most famous photograph to be published on the cover of Life magazine. Being creative is not an easy journey. It hurts, I fall down, I break things, I get told that I can’t do it, or that I shouldn’t. My pears ask me why I put forth so much effort into a field that I can’t be successful in, according to them. But in reality I struggle every day to do something that is so natural to them, to read and to spell. In fact it's one of my worst fears to read anything aloud, even my own writing. Not because I don’t want to share my writing but because I struggle to read. The words turn into a foreign language and I stumble over them. Those people who laugh at me don’t have a clue how lucky they are. They’ve never known what it feels like to free yourself in creativity. They’ve never sacrificed everything they have to create something amazing.
In Walter Mitty's moment of discouragement he threw away what he wanted the most. He started to believe that he should just go back to being “normal”. As creators it is inevitable for us to face moments like this. It is in these moments that I have proven myself as a creator. I will admit to rough patches in my creative journey but I’ve always gotten up. It’s easy to believe the opposition and voices in the back of your head telling you “this is crazy” “Why are you doing this?” or “You will never be good enough”. Honestly though, the biggest limitation to creativity is myself.
The daydreams of Walter Mitty seem to be unproductive, but it was those daydreams that pushed him past his comfort zone right into his limits. His day dreams really reminded me of myself. People think that ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a bad thing but it isn’t always. ADHD allows me to see the whole picture all at once. While ADHD is admittedly a limitation too in the fact that I can’t sit still through a lesson and the fact that I experience all lifes scenes at once, it’s also a gift. In the moments I seem to be unfocused are the moments I am dreaming and creating. While I am forced to live life out of focus, I’m also forced feel everything at a deeper level. Every tear is a moving expression of strength not weakness. Every smile is a feeling of standing at the top of the world. Every moment of compassion is deep empathy. Finding someone who doesn’t make fun of me is difficult. Finding someone else who know’s what my disability feels like is nothing shy of a miracle.
My daydreams are life like generations in a three dimensional explorable sphere of thought. It’s like creating a super high definition virtual reality inside my mind. I can see every angle, describe every color, taste, smell, and emotion connected to it. Walter Mitty learned that he had to walk right into his story. The biggest limitation to this gift is that you as a reader can’t see what I see exactly how I see it. I can’t bring you into my mental virtual reality physically, but I can write about it.
In the scene where Walter is in Iceland he is told to “Jump in the boat” from the helicopter to deliver the radio parts to a ship. As I creator I must have the courage to “Jump in the boat”. To take a step towards something great even when I miss the boat completely, lose the radio parts and nearly drown. The inspiration to create draws upon the stories we carry within us, our environment, our friendships, our jobs and even our sleeping hours.
In the end, we are the only true limitation to our own creativity. I learned through my writing career so far that when I create I must walk fully into my stories to feel my characters emotions, to taste of their loss, and to see their world. I must put my soul on the page because creating is a reflection of what I am, inside. Creation is my act of hope and the strength to do what feels utterly impossible. Through my creation I hope to inspire people to challenge their paradigm.