In response to Claudette’s Writing Challenge # 1 “the Power of Creativity”
Was very surprised when I went to check out the Writer’s Island prompt for today. The site has been closed and there will be no more weekly prompts. Was disappointed, to say the least. But then, being who I am and wanting to encourage others to write, I made a decision to create my own challenges.
I had another site, which was going by the wayside. Hadn’t been using it or posting to it at all. So I deleted everything from it and set up a writing challenge for anyone who is interested. Being a former writing instructor, I do have a lot of those at hand. I plan to post a writing challenge every Friday morning. You can find it at:
I will also probably respond to my own challenges. That’s what I did in my classroom and I might as well continue. And there is no better time to start than right now.
The Power of Creativity is a rather large subject matter, but I believe that each individual has creative power built into the original design. It is the energy that creates growth and healing. It includes inspiration, mental and physical skills and abilities, and is not limited by narrowed definitions.
The first class I taught was titled Connecting With Your Creativity. I was incredibly nervous because it was happening on the campus of the four year University from which I had graduated in years past. When the Director of the program introduced me as the Instructor, I almost couldn’t speak. But, I did eventually. One of the first exercises I had my students do was to write out very quickly, a brief paragraph of how they saw creativity at work in their own lives. Then went around the room and asked them to read what they had written.
It was a small group and everyone responded, until I got to the last woman there. She read what she had written and it became the first direct challenge I was to encounter as a new teacher. She had written about how she didn’t have a creative bone in her body. After trying for years, several different disciplines such as writing, painting, and music, she had given up and thrown in the towel. She simply wasn’t a creative human being.
My first thought, and I definitely didn’t voice it, was why would you take a class about connecting with your creativity if you truly believed you had none? Instead, I asked her to define what she meant by creativity. She immediately said, “The Big A, Art. You know, music, painting, drawing, all of those things.” The room was terribly silent, I wasn’t the only one aware that I was being challenged.
So I asked her if she thought that making a delicious home cooked meal that was nurturing as well as attractive was a creative skill. She said yes, of course it was. Then I asked her if a father who put his children to bed each night by telling them made up stories that included characters with each of his children’s names was engaging in creative energy. She nodded emphatically. And all of a sudden the room came alive.
Each person there had another example to add to the list. People they knew at work, or casually, neighbors and friends, who did very creative things that didn’t fit under her Big A umbrella. The two of us were grinning at each other by the time that little, but really important discussion ended and I could go on with the class I had planned out so carefully.
In the course of the next six weeks, that woman became one of the most enthusiastic students I have ever had. She eagerly participated in every exercise I presented, both writing, and other activities. At the end of the six week period, she came to class with a petition she had written up and planned to pass around to the other members in the classroom. It was addressed to the Director of the Program, asking that I be allowed to teach a second class on the same subject matter. The Director agreed, and I became a free-lance writing instructor, specializing in writing based classes for self-awareness and personal growth.
The power of creativity is that it is an energy that can be felt and experienced on all kinds of levels. It calls for a response. It initiates action, it gets us moving and thinking. And it is a healing energy for all of those reasons. To give it some sort of elite definition, is to miss its real importance altogether. For some of us, the mere fact of getting up and getting dressed is a creative activity. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had that particular experience of enticing myself out of a prone position.
I did it this morning, as a matter of fact. When I realized that there would be no writing prompt this week, or any of the weeks to follow, I was very tempted to go back to bed and just forget it. Instead, I am here responding to my own challenge, writing about my own experience and connecting once again with my own unique creative power. Can, or will you do the same?