Creativity: it has to be wanted by the heart, doesn’t it, or it really stands no chance of becoming what it’s asking to become.
All writers hear the same advice, when we start out on our writerly journey. Write what you know. And that’s all very well to say, but what exactly does it mean? I know about coffee, but should I write about it? Well, maybe not. I don’t know about finance: here I see an absolute. Do-not-write about it. Do not. No.
But I think what is really meant by write what you know, surely must be this:
Write what your heart knows.
Write what your heart is crying for.
Write what makes you feel alive.
When I recognised (and gave myself permission to write) the way my heart wanted to write, my authentic voice and flow came to life. Not only was I writing words and stories that I was very proud to share, but I could feel my words resonating on a deeper level. I could feel my stories and the plight of the characters I was writing, down to my bones.
That’s how I recognised that I was home.
That’s how I understood I was writing what I knew.
Maybe you are a more logical writer/musician/artist who plans everything and is allergic to the word heart. That is okay. I believe it’s still the same drive that moves us forward on the creative path. The need to express our authentic selves. It’s the key, I think, to creating at our highest human potential; harnessing our creative energy and letting it flow through us, unrestricted. For many of us, though, that word unrestricted is a constant source of angst.
In my case, I needed to overcome my fears of being different from those in my culture who didn’t live the way I did. Empathically. Whole heartedly. With love. Emotion is not a value easily digested in the culture I grew up in, and so the battle I was facing when it came to expressing my authentic creativity was one of not belonging.
Your battle may be different. I’d Imagine it is, actually (we’re all so delightfully different, us human folk.)
The thing is this: it all leads back to the same place. The need to express the truth of who we are, regardless of who may disagree or misunderstand our way of writing ourselves into the world.
The problem is, though, the human mind tends to overcomplicate things, by thinking. We don’t think about breathing, we just breathe. As a result, life happens and how beautiful it is to see the absolute loveliness of all that comes from even a single breath.
When I was a young song writer, I wondered about this ‘thinking’ thing. It frustrated me, because it seemed that every time I purposely tried to write a song, nothing would come. And yet every time I allowed creativity to just happen, a song would quite easily (and rather miraculously, I thought) flow into life.
I remember speaking to friends of their creative frustrations. How was I so easily able to harness the invisible threads the music seemed to be offering me, while they struggled to capture the elusive notes they intuitively felt within? All I could tell them was: ‘You’re thinking too much. You cannot think music to life. It is already alive. You just need to breathe it out.’
Easier said than done, I know, and still there are times where I try to write and come up with absolute crickets. It’s usually because my energy is either blocked (I’ll go into this topic in future posts) or I want it too much (this inevitably leads me to think my creative baby to life. Which, I’ve already learned, will never work for me.)
Since my early writing years, I’ve learned a great deal about my creative process. I’ve learned that thinking does come into it, eventually, but this thinking comes in at the back end of the creative process, beautifully structuring the organic material the flow of creativity has already given me. Writers call this: the editing stage, and this is where learning and education can come in handy for writers—think of technique as the tools in the clay-makers tool-box, and your natural creative ingredients as the clay.
The initial flow of raw creativity must be allowed to flow entirely, first, though, and I really do feel that this is where we get in our own way.
Can you step aside long enough to allow your creative breath to birth something beautiful? I’m quite sure you can. Breathe. Relax your entire body. Then disappear. I assure you, it is entirely safe.
And at the end of it all…you will have made the most beautiful kind of magic.
Art. Song. Language. All of it laced in the very essence of you.
So much love, and best of luck on the creative adventure you know is calling your name.
This place has been waiting to exist for a long time. Around thirty years, I would say, and here it is. Finally.
I’m very excited to have you here.
For some time, I have been looking to create a professional creative online space. A place where I might share the skills I’ve worked hard to attain, through years of study, but also through living and being in the world as a creative person and writer.
This is that space.
Some of you may know this particular site has had a previous life, of a different kind, and for those people…I do hope you feel welcome here. Everyone is always welcome in my world, whoever you are, wherever you are from.
What will this website hold, you may ask?
Here, you will find information about me, my creative history, my work and my qualifications.
You will hopefully learn a thing or two about reading, writing and how to cultivate and sit comfortably within your own creative flow.
I intend to share tips and lessons on writing and crafting language.
I intend to share tips and techniques on how to be a more active, fulfilled reader.
I am also planning to run a book club series, where I will take you through good books, breaking them down, showing you what it is that makes them good in my eyes (which will be a wonderful help for writers just starting out, or established writers looking to expand in perspective and/or technique.) I ran a similar series on instagram a while ago, which was a really wonderful way of diving deeper into the readerly/writerly experience.
So! I welcome you all to this new online home of mine.
I can’t wait to share my writerly/creative life with you all.
May it inspire, uplift and be a help to you on your own creative journey.