gallery The Value of Creativity

Jenny Harrison

Watch a child at play and you see creativity in its purest form.

Allow a child to create something magical out of a few boxes a pile of blocks or, later, bricks around a sandpit and you see creativity without boundaries.

As writers we need to allow ourselves the same freedom from constraint, the same liberty to allow our imaginations to fly. What could we do if we didn’t have so many preconceived ideas of how things are supposed to work, how people are supposed to behave, what words are supposed to convey.

The challenge for writers

As writers, the challenge is to see the world in a different way, to see its colours brighter, its edges more blurred, more flexible. Few are spontaneously gifted. We need to work at it, nurture the small seeds of creativity, practice our craft, know the basic rules so that we can play with them and create new forms, new visions.

We struggle to stay inspired, to keep writing even when the sweet summer weather is calling to us or the washing needs to be sorted. We struggle for years. We do so because we need to write we need to be creative. But how do we keep up that momentum? We stay focussed on the enjoyment not the achievement; the experience not the outcome.

Relax, enjoy the game

If we’re doing something for fun how much easier it is to achieve than if we find it a slog? So the rule of thumb is – no self-imposed deadlines, no boundaries and above all, no judgement.

Creative energy is stimulated by doing something different. I am enormously inspired by my writing group. We have members with different skills; illustrators, poets, short story writers, novelists, family historians. Each one brings something new to the group and each of us takes something new away.

When the bills start pouring in and the car needs a new WOF and the roof has sprung a leak and the spouse demands another beer, remember that your creativity is worthwhile. Even if you haven’t made a cent from your creative achievements the soul-value is enormous.

Never underestimate your creative ability.


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