For all my ranting about people oversimplifying and treating everyone as a stereotype, I am rather predictably guilty of the same thing. Specifically as regards those whose goal, temporary or long-term, is a creative product.
I don’t want to hear about your creative process.
I don’t want to hear about how you discovered yourself as a writer/painter/sculptor; I don’t care who your mentors were or how you met them. If you are standing in front of me telling me you are a “creative” person, with all these “ideas,” I would appreciate it if you would get lost.
Not because I don’t like creative people.
But because I don’t like you. Your kind of creative people.
Because I typify you. Because the people who have put their creativity to work to produce pieces that move me do not brandish their work at every turn in every conversation, loudly proclaiming themselves to be its progenitor. They are not vain. I hate vain creative people, even more than other kinds of vain people. Vain creative people are embarrassing. They are the ones who get exported and branded as the face of movements and generations. The simpering twat at a party who “just can’t get past this relationship he’s writing about.” The girl who is just dying for your opinion on this or that art piece, provided your opinion is somewhere between seizure drool and shrine-building. The guy who just wrote a song and—oh you wouldn’t want to hear it—oh no really—oh well if you insist, okay—and you’re not insisting. Ever.
I hate these people because I was able for many years to convince myself they didn’t exist.
And when you go from somewhere pretty straitlaced, pretty gung-ho on the more practical aspects of existence, to somewhere where every second person wants, NEEDS to tell you about the solipsistic novel she broke up with her boyfriend over because clearly he just didn’t get her…your commitment to the anti-stereotype, in this specific instance, wavers. You start to typify.
You start to wish you knew more people who didn’t want to be the next Hemingway. You start with wish you knew more people who worked 9 to 5 and were fucking grateful for the paycheck at the end of the month. Who knew they were capable and valuable beyond that 9-to-5 job, but who didn’t need to tell you, every moment you were together, how capable they in fact were.
And you realize this is cruel and against a lot of the things you claim to believe in, but you try and explain it away by reminding yourself of the more earnest, humble types you know. And still they are no excuse; your preference for them and their apparent persistence as a type despite the reigning majority does not provide a space for your sulky disdain.