I believe you can find the fuel for creativity anywhere.
I’m kind of passionate about it.
I think it stems from a conversation I had when I was young and impressionable. Not really a conversation but a statement presented to me as gospel. Someone who I looked up to and was supposed to be a nurturing presence told me I wasn’t creative. Flat out. Not creative.
Oh, yes, you are a pretty girl and yes, very smart. But you can’t do ‘arty’ things.
This person told me you are either born with creativity or you aren’t, and if you aren’t, that was that. Only artists or those who did arts and crafts were creative. Since I was neither, I was not. This person said I should think about working hard at my schoolwork and doing something ‘practical’ for a career.
Of course, now being older and wiser, I know that statement to be erroneous and narrow-minded. A look around creation will show you that: creativity and innovation from top to bottom. Creativity is everywhere, and anyone can be creative.
Still, I think it stuck in my child’s mind, and later in high school when I had opportunities to participate in typical creative endeavors, like drama, art, and creative writing, I passed them by. It wasn’t until college that I indulged my creativity here and there, mainly through writing, and I began to understand that creativity is not a quantified commodity for only a privileged few, but that anyone can tap into creative thought and fashion something from that thought, whether they are in the arts, at their job, or caring for a home and family.
Today, I’m a seeker and student of the creative process. Sometimes it takes the form of writing or photography. Sometimes it takes the form of enjoying other people’s creativity through reading, music, architecture, technological innovation, film, food, or visual arts. Also watching children as they poke and prod at the world, seeing what it’s all about, and the innovative ways they try to make sense of things.
The primary way I stir up my personal creative spark is by exploring different places. And not necessarily ‘different’ places, but looking at places in different ways. It helps me get outside of my self and my normal limiting and introverted existence.
That’s why I like to share my write anywhere venues through this blog. To encourage others to see things in a different light. To give them permission to make an appointment for their own creativity to ferment. To acknowledge that their words and ideas have value and are worth giving voice to. And to maybe catch someone who was like I once was: believing they have nothing creative to offer the world but deep inside not quite having completely succumbed to the lie.
The world needs your voice, whatever form it takes.
So with all those lofty thoughts swirling around in my gray matter on a gray rainy day, I decided to get a different point of view. Armed with a large umbrella, some galoshes, and my trusty camera, I marched out into the weather.
Write Anywhere #75: Rain Walk
It’s a rare treat here in Oklahoma to enjoy a gentle soaking rain. In this part of the country, extreme heavy storms or no rain at all is business as usual. On this day it rained and rained, and without thunderstorm intensity. A perfect day for walking in the rain.
It took me a bit to balance the giant golf umbrella between my neck and shoulder while snapping photographs, but I managed. I walked all through the neighborhood searching for interesting textures and colors.
The following day it cleared up, and I was doing a little damage control in my front yard when my elderly neighbor from across the street came over to say hello. He said he had seen me walking in the rain the day before, and he’d thought about coming out and asking if everything was okay.
“I thought there might be something wrong, because people don’t normally just walk around in the rain like that for hours. I mean, unless someone has a problem or they’re crazy or something.” He laughed a little nervously and raised an eyebrow at me.
“Nothing wrong at all. In fact it was a perfect day. I got a lot accomplished. I was taking photographs.”
“Whatever I thought looked interesting. I’m a writer and it gives me ideas. Thanks for being concerned, though.”
I smiled and didn’t elaborate. We talked a little more about the weather, and how we were finally going to get a break from mowing twice a week, and local politics. Then he crossed the street back to his house, shaking his head as he went.
I’m sure that will liven up the neighborhood grapevine. I don’t mind.
I guess I’m one of the crazy ones.