I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity lately. I’ve been enjoying getting back into writing again. Thank you dear reader for your part in enabling this. As children, we have such an uninhibited approach to creating. We fling ourselves into paintings, dancing, drama or stories without a second thought about what others think or if it’s going to turn out ok or if you’ll get Facebook likes. We are totally unselfconscious about the fact that we think our brown painting is the best-thing-ever that we had the most-fun-ever making. As we grow older, we begin to compare our work to others and lose the joy and freedom of creation.
As a ‘young adult’ who loved writing, I began to subscribe to the Ernest Hemingway School of suffering for it; There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. And then I’d compare myself to Hemingway and feel I had no business writing. Although “life in Canberra is a moveable feast” didn’t quite have the same ring to it. Soon I grew increasingly self-conscious and put my notebook down. And the message from teachers rang loud and clear in my head; there are so many writers. So few get published. And so many die of starvation so why not consider going into the public service?
Many years past with very little writing except for the occasional burst in the many leather bound journals I own (don’t act like you’re not impressed). But as I slowly started getting back into writing, I found it like reuniting with an old friend. Fun and exciting yet incredibly familiar. I began to write and then I began to share. I fought off the initial fear of this by reminding myself that if people want to read, they will read, if they don’t-they won’t and either way the world won’t end. Just write and share weekly without aiming for perfection which is subjective anyway. Although John Hamm’s handsomeness is something I think we can all agree on.
I’ve been experimenting with how best to create. To chip away at it? Write a certain amount of pages/words or for a finite time daily. Or to let it flow, whenever the inspiration hits. Be it for hours in the middle of the night or only when the moon is full. Many writers like the daily approach. Treat it like job. Show up and write no matter what. No matter if it’s crap. Just keep writing. Just keep writing. The edit can come later. The other school is; wait for inspiration to hit and then lock yourself in a cabin in the woods for a month and write like a Motherf**ker (thanks Cheryl Strayed).
I guess it’s whatever works. Elizabeth Gilbert’s awesome book “Big Magic” advocates for a mix of the two. Wait for the muse and then run like hell to catch it. Hone your craft while you’re waiting and show up to do your work. I write about whatever’s on my mind. Sometimes as many as 30 people read my blog! Ideas spring to me on walks, in baths, while driving. I’m finding a way of creating that works for me. At the moment it’s typing out a stream of consciousness Kerouac style (without the benzos and blood ink) and then let it pecolate and go back and edit it at a later time. Previously it was write for 10 minutes morning and night. I guess what’s important is to try and recapture the joy and lack of inhibition of creating that we used to experience as rug rats.
What did you enjoy making or doing when you were young? How can you recapture some of that in your life today?
Love and light and more brown paint! xxx Yvette