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So here I am,
A big question - how to do this?
I can do this,
It's easiest in the morning.
What do you see when
Here, creativity explored
starting with my creativity,
and explored some more -
lots of thinking about creativity.
Hmm. Creativity explored.
The creative process.
But the start:
creativity lived - my creativity -
so many changes.
Creativity explored ...
The creative process ...
Creative passion ...
Creativity explored ...
I love creativity.
and me. All my life, creativity has been vital.
MAY 24, 2006
on CREATIVITY AND ME
All my life, creativity has played an enormous part - as a child I imagined my way through story after story, and also wrote stories of my own. I was 12 when I wrote my first film script.
Thinking has been another favorite form of creativity - though that came later. But I've come to believe that thinking creatively is one of the highest forms of creativity. New connections. New thoughts. Going where most others somehow or other have not gone - too afraid, too ready to stay within what they've been taught to think, too lazy, too rigid. Amazing.
The forms of creativity I've been most drawn to have changed. Once I imagined I'd become a novelist - but the novels did not come. I did loads of thinking and explored ideas I deeply cared about. I became pretty convinced that thinking - and teaching the things I was thinking - would be the center of my life. Not bad - I loved teaching.
Then one day, I woke up with things I called "songs" in my head. Words to go with music - but not the traditional song structure (verse, chorus, bridge). The "songs" expressed a moment, a feeling.
I had found what has become maybe my strongest creative home. More and more kept pouring out. Instead of start-stop creativity, it was ongoing. What a pleasure, and also a puzzle.
How to get all this out into the world? That's been, in fact, my lifelong puzzle, conundrum, trouble, hardship, heartache. Who wants what I have to offer? How can I find those people, reach those people who would want these things, love them even - as in teaching I had finally found people who wanted much of what I had to offer, in my thinking, favorite books, and so on.
But even aside from the desire to reach people, I had another longing. I still hankered after story-telling - and soon I was linking the word pieces (as I called my songs in my head) into stories.
One thing still remained. This has been my biggest lifelong block - mine and my father's before me. Finding an outlet for my creativity - for all of me actually. I cannot remember ever having an easy time reaching others.
As a child, I was shy. Big eyes, big dreams, lots of reading - and one play put on, after three years of trying. One performance, in the basement of friends of my parents. Only a tiny audience.
How does one get one's work out into the world? How does one get others to listen to what one has to offer?
It hasn't been easy in any part of my life.
When I got degrees that, a few years earlier would have opened doors to fulltime university teaching, the doors were shut. I would have had to move thousands of miles away. It took years to find stable college teaching.
What a pleasure it was, to find teaching, first parttime at university, and then finally fulltime at a local college. At long last there were people (students) who often valued what I had to offer. Such an amazing thrill. And there was the additional thrill of meeting these people, what they had to offer, learning from them. ONgoing learning and interchange.
But the creative stuff kept on having very little outlet. There were developments. Lots.
For one thing, just as I fell into song-writing, I fell into writing a story about a preteen girl, Caro Carolina and a ghost dog, Fluffers.
When I had a few chapters done, I moved onto the next step. I spent hours at the library, researching who might be most interested. I checked out the most promising publishers on the web. I ended up with seventeen.
I wrote a cover letter, and sent sample chapters to all seventeen.
Two almost took the book, then didn't.
I agreed with the rewrites suggested by the second publisher - they felt right to me - but it was a rejection I got, not a request for rewrites.
It's easy to get tired, to give up for a while.
For years, I've also spend time developing Zee's Cafe Cafe, a virtual cafe for spoken word and music artists, as well as for my stuff. A big project.
Two drafts. The second was a fully developed same site.
I hunted for grants - and over and over I got none, though I did get a couple of very positive rejections. But in the end it's a rejection. I was once more on my own.
I was making some connections, some with people who came into my life for a while, a few others with people who have stayed in my life, even when I had no time or energy for the project for a couple of years. I am thinking of two especially, and of quite a number of others who have also brought things.
Now, with this site, I think I have found my way - my own skipping rope.
When I was a child, I was from an outsider group where I lived. In recess and at lunch time, when the skipping ropes came out, lots of little girls did not want me skipping with their groups. But when I had my own skipping rope, lots of little girls would always play with me.
This is my skipping rope.
And just as when I was a child, I do not want it just for me. I do want it for me of course, but I know there are lots of others who want to play with this skipping rope.
How did I get to this skipping rope? I have, over the years, learned a new language, the language of the web. In part for creative projects, and in good part for a business project.That's how I learned the creative side.
But how does one get one's creativity heard? For that has been my lifelong block.
Someone I've known for years, someone who's taught at my college for at least as long as I have, created (with a couple of other people) a fantastic skipping rope - a skipping rope to teach people who to be visible on the web. The most amazing thing is that his skipping rope isn't one he and his friends wanted to hoard, keep to themselves. Instead, they wanted to share it with anyone who wanted to use it. Of course there was a cost. But it was absolutely minimal in comparison to all it offered.
That has been the final piece to the jigsaw puzzle. And now you see the puzzle - one of those complex things with over a thousand pieces.
In this case, the whole puzzle wasn't created and then neatly cut. So many of the pieces have been created over time.
And now I have sat back, asked: how do I best put out into the world all I want to get into the world? The spoken word pieces? The Fluffers Book? The idea pieces? The space for everything else.
This is the entryway. Not everyone wants to go through every door. The doors are clearly marked.
Take your pick. I hope you find it at least as much of an adventure as Alice venturing into Wonderland.
And over and over, it's not just for me - though I am starting from my works.
On the virtual cafe, Zee's Cafe Cafe, there is a place for all alternative word and music people to link their stuff. There is also an open mic place, where it's first come, first served, with the next time for listings posted. Plus there's place for invited people. And also of course for me.
There's the start of the book I've written. There will also soon be space - opening pages - for many writers to post their opening pages. And for those who want to post more, there will be Page After Page.
For ideas, there's The Idea Space. There will also be Other Ideas. (If there are problems - hate ideas, etc, it will take time so stuff can be read before it can be uploaded).
And then there's the Love Line - love anger hate and every other emotion going on inside and between people. There too there will be space for Other Love Lines.
It's not all there yet. This is the start.
Welcome to the first flash in the pan of
Elsa's word story image idea love hate anger music and all round creative space.
A lot has been cooking for a long long time.
A lot more is on many burners, mostly slowly staying warm, the spices having had ages and ages to really get into the food, to flavor it fully.
And that's it for creativity explored - something I've rarely done. Instead of creativity explored, it's been creativity accepted as utterly vital and central, a gift from my father who loved and valued creativity. Creativity explored - a bit like breathing explored, though of course most of us have a lot to learn about breathing.
Creativity explored? I'm always stunned when most of my students say creativity hasn't much importance for them. For me that's as stunning a revelations as if they said falling in love wasn't important, or sex wasn't important.
Creativity explored? For now I'll go back to trying to let live the creative force in me.
MAY 24, 2006
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Creativity Explored in Elsas Creativity Blog.