Are Creative People Just Shitty At Life?

Nik MacMillan

Creative people aren’t irresponsible or lazy, so why are we shit at doing normal life stuff like taxes, paying bills and math?

I recently applied for a job in public relations, going in I was not aware that I had to undertake a math test before the interview. I was doing ok up until the algebra, then I choked. I left the office thinking ‘What do advanced algebra equations have in relation with public relations?’ Possibly some tricksy secret I haven’t yet uncovered. The realization I wasn’t good at math didn’t upset me because I did a degree in filmmaking I know I’m a creative type, however it did cut a little chunk out of my unbridled self-confidence and led me to wonder if other creative people like myself, find logical/analytical tasks difficult? Or is it just laziness because math is boring?

From 10 years of experience working in several different creative industries, I met a lot of people who were pretty disorganized, flaky and just plain unreliable.

I used to have a boss who created the most incredible flower arrangements, however she would never be able to answer her phone or pay her bills on time, her house was always a beautiful mess of dying flowers and dried out cups of tea. She was an incredibly creative person, no doubt highly intelligent, but a little bit shit at doing normal life stuff, to which I can relate.

In high school I was more interested in setting things on fire and playing guitar. I lived like Dewey Finn (Jack Black) from School of Rock, and to some extent I still do: “Would you tell Picasso to sell his guitars?”

I actually have a hard time remembering anything from high school, I’m not sure if that’s because I’m plain stupid or because my brain is subconsciously blocking out all the embarrassing stuff I did. For example, that time a friend and I were sent to the principal’s office for putting a crab in the money deposit box. The principal just sighed and left the room saying “alright let me go get the detention sheets again,” While he was gone, we left a note reading ‘GONE FISHIN’ with a little picture of a man with a fishing rod, and bailed. The parents weren’t impressed.

I’ve created my own path, doing these stupid sinister acts in my teens, now I’m left with this anxiety that I’m never going to get a job, Its like some sort of cosmic retribution.

I wake up from nightmares that I’m living in a cardboard box on smith street, with two stray dogs, still trying to figure out that equation I got wrong all those years ago.

Why Greta, why!

“Why didn’t you try harder in math class!?”

I was too busy pretending I was spewing in the sick bay but actually stealing chocolate from the teacher’s staff fridge.

Also can I just ask, why is everyone doing coding? When I hear the term Python coding, the only thing I can imagine one of those huge jelly snakes pressing random keys on a Windows 98 PC, all coiled up next to some floppy discs or something.

But do I have to learn how to code and do algebra to get a normal job and live a normal life? I really hope not, because I know I’d be horrible at it. I’m willing to learn anything but I don’t want to make codes, really all I’ve ever wanted was a pen, paper and a dictionary.

One unscientific statement I will make is that highly creative minded people operate differently. They don’t see the world in numbers and codes, we see the world as a mythical place where stories and art are as important as food and water.

While I might be scared for my future in this anxiety inducing technological age, I know that I didn’t choose a pen and paper, rather through a process of elimination the pen and paper chose me.

Take this as a job application to the world, titled “please take me as I am.”
If anyone out there has just finished their degree and is secretly freaking out like me, shoot me a line and maybe we can freak out together. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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