Malek Allari | Editor-In-Chief
My creativity makes me proud. I am most creative in writing, whether it is a short story, a poem, or my new novel. I believe that is what makes me happy and proud. I find pride in my usage of words, humor, and thoughts. When I write, I just put words on paper, not minding anything except telling the story or the emotion that I am venting out.
I never cared whether it was perfect, either the handwriting, the grammar, or the word choice, as long as I wrote what I wanted to write. Perfectionism, in my view, is doing what you want to do as long as you love it dearly. I never resented one of my writings, but I resented the actions that developed the emotions that inspired that piece of writing. I do not care whether my creativity is judged by other people or by myself; however, I care about my creativity’s advancement and growth. Creativity is like life, if you stopped at one point, you would be left behind.
One of the things that will leave you behind and tie you to your worst fears is procrastination. Every creative person has an enemy, and mine is laziness. I fight procrastination of my creativity by being inspired by anything. A pigeon, a piece of crap, a building, a scene from a movie, or even the crowded NYC subway inspire a creative person to do something. Whether it was to write, draw, or even imagine something. At some point in my life, I became a huge procrastinator. Eventually, it started to kill some of my creativity.
Moreover, I started to resent everything that made me want to write or read. I fought procrastination by writing anything. I wrote very short poems to get myself on track, and then, after getting back on track, I started to write short stories.
Along with short stories, I finished my first book during the winter of 2020. After that, I kept writing short stories, and now I have a collection of twenty-eight short stories and still going. Now, I am trying to write a novel and a play at the same time. But, of course, after reading some plays and getting the general idea of how plays work, I still have problems making mine creative and humorous. Now, I have been procrastinating on the play and novel I am writing because I am busy with school. I have free time, but I spend it watching anime or reading a boring book for class. Procrastination is a killer.
I sometimes think of when I was a kid. I used to go out and play soccer or play with friends. Now, as a nineteen-year-old male, I have no idea how to play except for video games. I see the creative world of Halo, and I go, “Damn, that is nice.” I try to play around creatively, but I feel like a five-year-old who thinks he is Spider-Man. That is why when I go “play,” I go read a book, a comic, or sometimes go take a walk in the park imaging a dinosaur smiling at me with a cigarette in his mouth(usually a T-Rex, but this it was a Theropod last time). My idea of playing changed dramatically, and I feel like a nerd; however, that is how I “play” creatively.
Playing creatively has its side effects. For example, it made me condemn my work. I sometimes write a short story, and suddenly, I start hating the things I wrote. Although it was for a moment, I started to feel guilty. My supporter, my father, started to tell me that it is fine to hate what you write, as long as you embrace it and fix it before presenting it to the world. Creativity that is hated becomes an artist’s crime. No artist hates creativity, and no artist should put hatred in his work. If you put hatred in your work, your work will become a demon and eats out your creativity. That is why I started to write short stories that have morals and activism in them. I wrote a story about hate, discrimination, ethnic cleansing, and sometimes, domestic violence. Although I never shared the fear, there are people out there that need to be heard. I always thought it was not my place to write and talk about them because I had no home to go back to. I have no home country, which makes me a modern-day gypsy.
As a gypsy, my creativity always traveled far beyond my understanding. I adapted the culture around me and used it in my creativity. As an Arab, I grew up in a culture where creativity is not needed but rather hard work to put food on the table and a roof above our heads. My creativity was soon to perish if not for my family. They told me about the Arabic culture and its rich traditions, inspiring my creativity far and wide. I wrote stories about my culture, or where the setting is in where I grew up. I wrote a poem about our understanding of Life and Death, Angels and Demons, and what I see from the world around me.
In my first book, I used part of a culture that I am familiar with, which is my culture. My main characters are of Arabic origins. Sometimes I used Arabic phrases to inspire myself to love my culture more. However, when I came to the US, I had a cultural shock. A culture that is entirely different from mine and yet not so difficult to adapt to. Most of the things that I had grown up thinking are not suitable or acceptable for some people; people here do it. It took me two days to adapt to the American culture, and it inspired some stories. Especially how people dress, talk, eat, and sometimes, how they interact with each other. After that, my creativity grew solid and broad. My procrastination dried to crisp. My humor started to become a death sentence since I am a fan of dark humor. In my stories where I have the American culture, I try my best to be careful with the usage of words, or else I am in big trouble.