Thursday, February 17, 2011

Forms of Creativity

Play with it. Vary it. Experiment.


I’ve heard that refrain all my life. I’ve even given that advice to others.  All in the realm of story-telling.  What if?  Then what? Make it more extreme.  Hand me a writing utensil (electronic or mechanical, keyboard or pencil) and I’m in my favorite playground.


But when my physical therapist told me the same things about exercise – play with it, vary it, experiment – I was at a loss.  How do you vary a sit-up or a push-up or a lunge?  How do I vary my walking – speed, length of stride, width of stride – then I’m stumped.  My PT had no trouble. He came up with dance-like moves, diagonals, heel raises.  I could copy him.  But my creativity does not extend into the physical realm.  I can make combinations of what I know, but new moves? They never occur to me.  


My talents do not extend to music – not to playing or to composing, and certainly not to singing.


I’m no artist.  I can follow techniques, combine colors – but create my own style? Convey my own message?  My brain doesn’t work that way.


I always thought I was creative.  But my creativity only plays in the realm of words and ideas.
Writerly creativity comes so easily to me that I thought it could be taught, inspired, cajoled, teased out in others.  I thought perhaps people who claimed not to be creative were simply afraid to try something new. And with a little encouragement, they too could enjoy one of my favorite activities.


I do think that everybody has creativity. But maybe their does not work in the world of language. Perhaps it is in dance, or art, or some field I haven’t even thought of.


There are far more things to be creative about than dreamt of in the mind of a writer.

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