Living Creatively

Tuesdays have slowly morphed into my writing day. I sit down, and perhaps I’ll edit a short story that I’ve already written or type out a new poem onto my computer but the hardest thing to do is to write out something new. What on earth am I going to write about? How am I going to portray that? What shall I write next? And then suddenly I’m in a creative rut. I can’t write, I’m not inspired, I’m a terrible writer with little imagination and the semi-dramatic thoughts go on and on.

So what do you do to get out of that?

When I did my module on creative writing, one of the things that they told me was to carry a notebook around with me always. Why? Because often inspiration comes when you’re out and about, doing your errands, meeting your friends, or walking to the library to study. One of the effects that carrying your writer’s notebook is that you get into the habit of, what I call, living creatively. You are on the on the look-out for anything interesting. Everything has possibility to be turned into fiction or poetry. I suppose that’s my advice  more than anything. This is more about carrying a notebook around you. It’s about keeping your eyes and your ears open to what’s around you.

I walked around in the woods, in the autumn air, with the kids I look after and the wind blew. Hundreds of leaves fell to the ground. I said to the children “go on guys, try and catch the leaves!” and they ran around yelling, smiling and they lifted their hands into the air attempting to catch their leaves. I didn’t have my notebook with me but I noted it mentally in my mind. The way the boy looked at me with his large, soft, and curious eyes. The way that the girl ran up to me, scrunched up her face into a cheesy grin, and yelled “Anna! I caught a leaf!” and how she ran back to catch more leaves. There was a poem in the making of the moment, in the children’s laughter and naivety, and in the autumn air attempting to catch leaves.

But there is more moments than I can count, that I can look back and see that it was poetry. It wasn’t poetry because it was perfect but because it meant more than that. It caused me think beyond the box of the moment and more on the implications of it. The season where I am at, where I tell children to catch the falling leaves, is only a season.The season will fade. That is what makes it poetry.

Of course often we get inspired and our work afterwords doesn’t seem to match the grand finale in our heads, but that’s okay. Being creative isn’t just fun and games. It’s hard work to make poetry, to write a story, to paint, to do photography, to make art but we do it anyways. There is a desire to make poetry out of the moments that makes us think beyond the moment. That is what being creative is all about.




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