Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Creative Eden

by Jeremy C. Shipp
on the blog Not Enough Words
about embracing one's own creativity.
A simple lesson, but one that is surprisingly hard to enact.

He starts off by saying, "Early on, I didn’t think about the creative process. I simply enjoyed it. I wrote what I felt like writing. I didn’t hold anything back. I didn’t edit myself. In a manner of speaking, I was living in a creative Eden."

This is a place I would like to get back to sometime soon. Having made the decision to declare myself a capital W- Writer has increased the pressure I put on myself. What was once fun and the thing I did to relieve stress is now the cause of most of my stress! I am easily overwhelmed and paralyzed when I have complete creative freedom.

Recently I had the opportunity to write a chapter following an outline laid out by someone else. It was so liberating. Since I was not responsible for the character arc or plot, and therefore did not feel the same sense of vulnerability, I was free to relax and enjoy the simple act of playing with language. I think I have always thrived when there was some sense of structure; creating a theatrical adaptation of a classic, writing "in the style of" another author, or responding to an assignment. I feel like within limitations I can be at my most creative, perhaps because I love pushing against boundaries and breaking rules.

For me, it is about learning how to set my own structures and honor them as I would those set by another. That will be my path back to the verdant landscape of creativity.

How about you? Are you in your creative Eden now?
Or have you also eaten the apple?

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