“But I believe wholeheartedly that creativity is a virtue, a gift of character; that it emanates from the spirit of an individual. I had to come to terms with the fact that what I wrote was, in actuality, an expression of myself, of my character.”
My writing journey began in Karen’s Creative Writing Course. I went along the first evening with doubts about my creative capacity and an awareness of my inherited British reserve, a degree of inhibition that I suspected would thwart my efforts to write anything of appeal.
The course proved to be informative, inspirational, enjoyable, and so much more.
I soon learned to seek inspiration anywhere and everywhere, to look at things from a writer’s perspective. It seemed as though a portal to an entirely new universe opened up to me. And pardon the cliché, but the creative juices began to flow with ideas for writing projects accumulating rapidly.
However, when I put pen to paper and began to write, something happened between brain and hand. The words filled the page, but they somehow seemed alien, forming sentences and paragraphs quite different to those I had imagined I’d produce. No matter how hard I tried to alter my style, or attempt a new genre, what I produced was recognizably reserved, conservative, in my mind inhibited. I tried to fight this perceived impediment, to find another VOICE for my creative output.
But I believe wholeheartedly that creativity is a virtue, a gift of character; that it emanates from the spirit of an individual. I had to come to terms with the fact that what I wrote was, in actuality, an expression of myself, of my character. It reflected my essence, my spirit.
And just as I sometimes have difficulty accepting aspects of myself, I also experienced difficulty accepting my writer’s Voice! In fact, I didn’t like it one bit! But gradually, gradually, it occurred to me that if I wish to continue writing, to write with any degree of satisfaction – and I most certainly do – I’d better come to terms with my Voice, get rid of any negative notions I harbour about it, and maybe even learn to love it…passionately!
There is a quote by Bahá’u’lláh that I love:
‘The Great Being saith: Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value.’
The gems in the mine are those qualities of the spirit, gifts of character or virtues that lie potentially within each and every one of us, virtues such as creativity. It usually takes a great deal of searching and effort to bring these gems to the surface, to polish them so they reflect their unique qualities. And in my experience, so it is with creative writing.
A really exciting and unexpected aspect to my writing journey is that, in the process of learning to embrace my Voice, I am learning to bring up from the mine of self, some of those qualities of spirit that make me who I am.
If you are reading this blog, chances are you are already a writer. But if you haven’t yet begun your own writing journey, are having reservations about your capacity to write, are writing but concealing your efforts from others, or are simply bored stiff – and I’m acquainted with people in all of these categories – I strongly advocate you simply begin.
As Brenda Ueland, a writer and teacher of writing, says in her inspirational book, If You Want to Write:
“This is what I learned: everybody is talented, original and has something important to say.”
by Diana Threlfo