As our pandemic continues to generate mounting financial pressures, most of us are inundated with crucial responsibilities. These demands are consistently stifling, and if not for self-imposed pacing, they might otherwise consume every waking minute. Others still have been rendered inert altogether, abruptly removed from positions that provided structure and income.
There are so many creatives that were already pursuing their passion without compensation. And now, these same people may be tempted to reallocate their priorities, exchanging time for their creative hobbies with more immediate concerns. But the former still offers an imperative internal balance. It is always possible to transform the most dire struggles into cathartic expression, and the right approach will prove very nourishing.
Properly arranged, reserving time for creativity can be greatly beneficial, beyond mere distraction. It can help us discover exciting inspiration, and establish fresh goals that will invite new social circles and opportunities. Regardless if you have nothing but copious free time, or none at all, we can each confront the pandemic’s innately ubiquitous adversity to build new avenues for ourselves.
Unfortunately, expanding artistic horizons could feel daunting before these difficult times. Everyone has a comfort zone, and possibly even a little self-doubt. Routines are certainly very cozy, and time is more precious than ever. Perhaps other ideas simply aren’t intriguing enough—after all, creativity and hobbies develop organically. However, many probably approach new creative territory with great leaps in mind.
Instead, I’d like to suggest a tactic that has personally helped me. If you branch out from your established enthusiasm, just an inch, wild new vistas can emerge.
Creatives that pursue their skills professionally are often met with a great deal of rejection, and many of them will likely agree that getting started on a new project is the perfect antidote. It immediately establishes new hope and purpose, alleviating some tough worries about the fate of the preceding endeavor. All of this is equally suited to combatting a stagnant lifestyle, which is now so relentlessly pervasive. Finding new goals is a profoundly rewarding enterprise—but taking the first step is the hardest part.
So. I have very humble and stereotypical beginnings in screenwriting. Over time, I honed this craft, inspired by auteurs and personal adversity alike. I eventually learned to profit from these skills, working as a ghost writer or offering script coverage. But rather than wait for someone to make one of my screenplays, I decided to let my words speak for themselves. I combined my accumulated writing skills and longtime passion for literature, ultimately authoring two novels.
In the same way, I also expanded my interests in music. I began very early on with the trumpet, and learning to read music eventually allowed me to become a self-taught pianist in my teenage years. Yes, I later took lessons that fixed any mechanical issues, like posture and so forth. But now, I only just recently discovered MuseScore. It’s a free software that intuitively allows composers to play around with entire orchestras. Rather than mere improvisation or the restriction of two instruments, I was permitted a deluge of new tools that widened my horizons beyond expectations.
I feel both enriched and empowered, simply by exploring adjacent interests rather than leaping into totally exotic grounds. For me, it’s been the perfect way to open up to new experiences. So, if you love to draw, perhaps you might want to consider graphic novels. If you love gaming, you can always become a streamer. An interest in directing films could lead to photography, or vice versa. I believe that wherever your own passions perch, they can lead you even further.
~ By, Anthony Fertino
Anthony is a frequent contributor to both The Gamer and Screen Rant, and the author of two novels. His film analysis and suggestions are part of our regular column, “Making The Day,” here on This American Quarantine. Anthony is Southern California native and is passionate about cinema, literature and the arts. He enjoys playing piano, composing music and practicing the art of paper folding, Origami.