You’ve probably heard the Eureka story. You know Archimedes AHA moment, and him jumping out of the bathtub and running around naked.
NOOO!! Creative writing doesn’t suggest that you run around naked for better writing.
OH! You just want to run around naked? Well…stay away from me. WEIRDO!!
According to Wikipedia the definition of Creative Writing is as given below.
Creative writing is any writing that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature, typically identified by an emphasis on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes or with various traditions of poetry and poetics.
Alright now! Did everyone get that? Okayyyy…is everyone awake?
Wake up people!!!
So basically, in simpler terms, creative writing is writing with an artistic twist. It’s a creative form of self-expression. Creative writing is writing that presents a vivid picture.
When I was a younger writer (I’m still young) with a burning desire to be the best writer in the world, I searched for knowledge and guidance that would take me to the peak of Mt. Writermanjaro. And it was there that I had dreamed of establishing my writer throne, so that I could look down upon the writer world with my upper lip curled in disdain.
Not a pretty sight at all! No! Plain ugly!
Two and two came together, and the resultant value equated to a diploma course in Creative Writing. Of course, a diploma was all I needed to get a good head start, and then leap towards my first Literary Prize.
OHHH!! I just missed it by a thousand miles. OUCH!
Years passed, the course ended, and I received my creative writing diploma. With the diploma in my hand, and an invisible writer’s cap upon my head, I waved goodbye to the writers around me.
Unfortunately, it was me who was left standing alone at the dock while the rest of my Writer Brethren sailed away on the Writers’ Titanic.
And yes they were singing…Our Hearts Will Go On…
Where were they headed, and what would be their final destination, was unknown to me. All I knew was that I stood alone once again, deserted by reason and logic, and tricked by blind desperation.
Time passed (very slowly), and I realized that the creative writing diploma with my name on it was not a magic wand that could be waved around for instant success.
It was an investment of time and creative energy that would hand out its dividends gradually over a varying period of time.
Clarity of thought and a vivid writing style were the two traits that settled in my mind like a layer of creative cement. And as I continued to write, I was able to sprinkle my acquired knowledge over numerous hurdles and difficulties, thus making them more doable and achievable.
I’d like to give you an example of one of the exercises that conditioned my mind to analyze both the positive and the negative of a situation.
I was presented with the following scenario:
(c) Imagine you love skiing and describe the exhilaration of the ski slopes uncrowded and with the sun on them.
(d) Now look at the same scene from the viewpoint of someone who hates skiing, hates the cold and is only there under protest.
It’s not simple to illustrate contrasting viewpoints, especially when the mind has already conditioned its thought process to one particular viewpoint.
Take a look at both viewpoints, and allow your mind to drift above your physical being.
The ski slopes always remind me of vanilla icing on a cake. Their smooth texture and brilliant whiteness present a peaceful picture. The slopes seem gentle and kind, yet they hide their cunningness and complexities. A ski lift carries me towards the top, lifting me into the arms of breathtaking nature. My legs dangle and the icy air pricks my nose and ears. As I look down, skiers resemble tiny specks floating across a white majestic expanse. The trees stand guard, witnessing these tiny feats of mankind.
As I approach the top, the sun rises from behind the mountains. The first rays of light kiss the slopes and infuse them with a fresh and radiant glow. The mountains come to life, showcasing their pomp and glory. Bright sunlight tickles the slopes and they sparkle with joy and laughter. Icy winds declare their prominence as I reach the top, and the snow drifts under their stern command. As I place my feet upon the thick white blanket, my skis feel at home on the powdery surface.
The ski poles seem heavy in my hands. They yearn to cut through the icy crystals and declare their supremacy. The blue sky is speckled with wafts of clouds, slowly gliding overhead. Their proximity tempts me to reach out and grab a handful of fluff. Yet they simply ignore my childish antics.
I am among the few who have come to declare their love for nature and also exhibit a passion for adventure. An exhilarating feeling spreads from my head to my toes. A nervous tingling fills my stomach and my fingertips. I openly challenge the slopes, determined to tame their wildness. Yet their beauty bewitches me and coaxes me to gently caress their steep gradients.
The base is far and the stretch is precarious. I bend my knees, my skis are my wings; I lean forward and soar.
I have never really understood the fascination people harbor for snow. It’s cold, wet and slippery. It also has a very boring color. I’ve never been able to develop a liking for it my entire life. Yet here I stand surrounded by mountains covered with it. Another thing that hasn’t ever caught my fancy is snow sports. Firstly, I’m not much of a sports enthusiast. Secondly, I don’t like snow. Yet here I stand with skis strapped to my feet.
The ski lift chair approaches me from behind. I crouch a bit and stick out my bottom. The chair sweeps me up and I’m on my way to the top. Oh, I forgot to mention that I’m not too comfortable with heights either. My legs dangle and the extra weight of the skis cut off the blood circulation in my ankles. I can’t even feel my feet now. My nose and ears are freezing and the icy air seems to be piercing my lungs with every breath I take.
Feeling a bit light-headed, I take a risk and look down. All I see is snow and some more snow. The depressing sight makes me turn my focus to the skiers on the slopes. They maneuver themselves with such grace and poise. I wonder why they didn’t put their talents to better use. As I approach the top, the clouds scatter and the rising sun casts its light upon the slopes. I love sunlight and the warmth it exudes. However, white is a color that tends to reflect light. So the sunrays upon the snow prove to be quite blinding. I should’ve brought my sunglasses.
As I get off the ski chair, the numbness in my feet prohibits them from lifting the weight of the skis. I struggle a bit and my feet finally manage to inch ahead. The wind is terrible. It cuts through layers of clothing and send shivers down my spine. The snow blows with it and at times hits me directly in the face. White clouds drift with the wind and completely cover the sun.
I approach the drop and still wonder what I’m doing here. Is it a challenge to myself or am I proving something to the world? The slope is steep and the base isn’t visible. I bend my knees and lean forward. This is the biggest mistake of my life.
CREATIVE WRITING didn’t make me the best writer in the world. NOT even close!!
But it did give me many AHA moments, and it did set my creativity to EUREKA mode!
How has your creative journey treated you? Have you had some EUREKA EUREKA?!!