Signs That You’re Entering Creative Puberty

Managing Growth Into Creative Adulthood

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I was about 13. My mother got me a journal as a birthday gift. I couldn’t stop writing. I loved writing and storytelling. But I also loved cartoons and comics and anime.

My peers seemed to move on to girls, parties and popular culture, and I was in a place where I was enjoying more and more art and the joy of creative expression.

Was something wrong with me!? I was so embarrassed sometimes!!! What if someone reads my fictional stuff, especially my fan-fiction!? What if someone finds out that I daydream being a cartoon character on a series like “Sonic the Hedgehog” or “Pokemon” or “The Fairly OddParents!”

Was I normal!?!?

So…Am I Normal!?

Are you always seen carrying around a sketchbook or a journal?

Do you have a backpack filled with art supplies and books?

Do you have pens and pencils for specific drawing and writing use? Can people spot you a mile away because you’re THAT guy with THAT exact backpack of an exact bright, familiar, campy color.

Do you prefer the company of your laptop or sketchbook or tablet and find yourself lost in creating rather than dealing with that family gathering you’re sitting right in the middle of?

Do you still watch a bunch of cartoons and anime and read a ton of comics and manga while your peers have moved on to other hobbies of interests?

Do you have stories that you just can’t get out of your head?

Do you think about drawing and/or writing consistently?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then congratulations and welcome to creative puberty.

All of these thoughts and feelings are perfectly normal. It is a sign that you’re purpose and your passion are intersecting and it is a beautiful and amazing thing.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably feeling all kinds of emotions with these new and exciting desires — happy, excited, joyful, hopeful, inspired, frustrated, confused, scared, anxious, awkward and maybe even a little smelly.

Don’t worry. These signs are normal too. Very, very normal. And you can endure them and get past them as long as you understand what you’re going through.

But, I Feel Different From Everyone Else!!!

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Everyone is in different stages in creative puberty. For instance, you may not be on the same level as a writer or artist, but, that doesn’t mean that your work doesn’t matter.

Who cares if your writing isn’t published quite yet while someone else has published 3–5 books and 1000 blog posts.

It’s okay. Everyone is in different stages.

And don’t rush. Remember, just because you’re 13 in creative puberty doesn’t mean you need to put out a book this very moment. You’ll get there.

Comparing yourself to someone else is not healthy. Learning from others always is.

I can only imagine the number of hours and days and weeks and months and years I wasted staring online at other artists and writers who put out some amazing, popular work while I sat there in my embarrassment, disappointment, depression and anxiety.

Keep practicing on being better where you are and study others who have gone before you. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. And challenge yourself to create more and more things that are outside of your box. Stay humble and keep creating.

Your gift is your gift. You are unique. You are genuine. You have a unique fingerprint. You have a unique mind. Their will never be another person quite like you on this planet. Ever!

And that is incredible!

For me, I had to learn that as far as “being like the other guys” go, I was not “other,” like I thought, but I later realized that I was unique and yet no different from my male counterparts.

I thought “otherwise” because I was not good in sports, didn’t really connect well with my peers and was often bullied and teased for being “different.”

If you’re the guy that is more gifted in writing or drawing or creating really cool art, that’s great! And don’t worry, if you’re an athletic type who loves sports as much as he loves creativity, you can still enjoy both activities with reasonable time management and commitment.

If you’re the girl that finds drawing and sketching in your book more favorable to you than partying till dawn, then that’s cool too!

What Do I Do With These Desires!?

While the temptation may be to hide them and pretend that no one knows, and, even if it seems like no one cares, remember that your desire to be a creative is a very healthy thing.

But, with those desires come big responsibility, which you can be readily prepared to deal with.

First, if you smell, SHOWER!!!

Being a creative is no excuse for bad hygiene. Plus, it is best that you take care of your body and stay healthy and exercise as you work out your creative feelings and interests.

Remember, as a writer, you should watch everything from your grammar down to your message. Each word you put out on paper and in public can and will affect you and those around you.

Good character must come before good creative expression. Otherwise, your creative expression will outlast your character. We’ve seen it time and time again with people who abused their positions by abusing people. And sometimes in the midst of creative puberty, we forget that.

Can I Control My Sudden Bursts of Inspiration

For all creatives, sometimes inspiration comes and goes. But, you have to remember your why and be disciplined.

Sometimes it is a matter of reading, taking a break, going for a walk or spending time with family and friends or having some time alone in prayer and meditation.

Be careful to not fall into feelings, but instead facts. Don’t just ignore them and cast them away, though, but instead use them to gauge in an effort to figure out what’s REALLY going on.

There’s often stories behind the feelings.

We live in a culture that thinks that “feelings” reflect who and what we really are. When actually, if you look yourself in the mirror, you’ll see more fact then feelings.

Feelings change, but the truth stands. As my favorite anime character Conan Idogawa says, “Only One Truth Prevails.”

What Is Creative Adulthood

Creative adulthood is simply a period of your life where you are practicing your craft.

It is the time of your life when you are speaking not only from your own experiences but telling the stories of others.

It is that time that you are using your art and expression of writing and creativity to make the world what it really needs to be…better.

Written by

Writer, Cartoonist, Minister, Journalist

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