Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Exploring My Creativity.
The book doesn't preach and it isn't overbearing. It doesn't push you and each chapter is very small and this simplicity is brilliant as it doesn't hammer ideas, thoughts or processes down your through. I was enjoying reading it and thinking. I makes me want to go back to re-read what I read not because I didn't understand but its written so well and the voice is calm and inspiring that I'm drawn to go back to it - to find more points to focus/draw on.
The introduction makes a very strong and valid argument how at school one doesn't write for themselves or their pleasure but for teachers. The student wants to please the teachers and so writes things that they want to hear. I wasn't really aware of my own creativity at school but I know writing wasn't a pleasure. I took no satisfaction in it or have any joy from it. It was about saying things that were adding to my argument and building it up and getting me a higher grade. It was all academic and there was no space for expression or creativity there. Goldberg says about her own school experience that she "learned commas, colons, semicolons" and "compositions with clear sentences that were dull and boring." I remember that I too was terrible at my comas and my clauses and was just doing away with them but that wasn't any good in terms of academics. I had to make sure that I got them done and that I made as little mistakes as possible. I had no time to think of creativity I had to make sure I had commas, clauses and correct spelling. There was no pleasure in this. I was just happy when it was done and when I wouldn't have to do it any more.
A Zen master tells Golberg "if you go deep enough in writing it will take you everyplace." It was such marvelous thing reading that because I had indeed let my writing take me back to my past. There were things I didn't particularly like to recall - things that had been painful for my family. For so many years of my life it hurt to think of the past and I just never wanted to revisit. I always kept those visits at bay but one day my best friend told me "You have so much to write about. You've had such a interesting past and a lot to write from and about." This caused a chemical reaction somewhere within me - in my soul, my mind and my heart. I had to come home and so we parted and I started writing. My writing was taking me back to my past, there was no hurt or pain there, only history. Its like my past and I were separated. The writing had taken me back to the beginning and back to the past. What my best friend had said had ignited something within me and I kept going. I knew what I wanted to write and I kept having ideas.
This morning I took my childhood photo album and looked at the photos to see what they would incite within me and I wrote it down. I wanted to get my immediate reaction and that would serve as the core of my work. There was no pain when I looked there, there was a bunch of people, and now they are no longer those people in the pictures. Its not writing as therapy no its about my writing giving me the power to go back to a place of intense raw emotion and not be hurt. The writing arises out of that very place. Through writing I'm now in control and my past isn't a dark sad place. I've accepted all that has happened and through writing I get to understand and reflect. I get to be my own witness of the past and its a powerful thing.
Goldberg also goes onto say that "learning to write is not a linear process." Sometimes as writes we think we know something and we think we've accepted something but we haven't. We need to be told and only then will we fully accept. As a writer and a writer with dyslexia well my mind doesn't work in linear or chronological time, space or thought. I had so many ideas at once that I need to untangle them. I need to sort them out of each other. Sometimes ideas just float in my head and they sink never to return again. Those moments drive me mad - but then when they resurface they are even better then the first time around. Its powerful when Goldberg tells us that there is no logical process and well its something that we as writers need to be told. We need to know that this is ok and the chaos is very very normal. There is nothing wrong with us. Indeed we can stop worrying that we are sick with some life threating diease and we can stop telling teach other off.
Embrace the chaos with open arms. Let the past speak though you, don't reject it or be afraid, just let it happen.