Tuesday, November 17, 2015

What Is Creativity? - 26

I've been teaching creativity, in one way or another, for over 30 years, but it hadn't occurred to me until I began writing this series of blogs that the creative experience isn't limited to the creator.

I'm a reader of submissions for the women's literary journal, Minerva Rising. I'm currently reading novellas for their contest—25 of them, so far— and have been running the emotional gamut with them. Irritated and sorrowful that a very good writer had not edited her excellent story; sometimes disgusted because writers had not learned the craft at all; educated by the craft of another; blessed by a story that left me in tears. And then mesmerized by a story about a pilgrimage to Santiago in the 12th century.

I can't turn off my editorial eye when I read. Missing commas and hyphens, the incorrect use of colons—I notice them all. I realized, as I finished the pilgrimage story, that I'd been so caught up in it that my critical faculties had lain dormant after the 1st few pages. I intended to read a couple of chapters at a time, but I read the entire novella in one sitting.  I've never been able to empathize with pilgrims making that journey, never able to walk in their shoes, and yet I willingly followed the protagonist throughout her journey. I know little about the 12th century, but I believed I was there. Not a Roman Catholic by faith or a believer in miracles, I nevertheless would have have been happy if the protagonist had decided to become a nun and accepted the "coincidences" or miracles as truth.

I suspended disbelief, logic, critical tendencies and was both transported and completely involved, mind, body, and soul.

As a teacher, what I'm trying to help clients release their natural voices, whether in singing or writing. When they do, I'm again, as with the novella, unable to critique. I'm just there with them in the present. I had that experience with a singer/songwriter this week. Ordinarily, I would have suggested that she not lift her larynx, as she was doing for some lines. But I didn't say a word.

If, as I believe, creativity comes from an integrated self, then it must have the power to integrate the reader, the listener, any of its audiences. 

1 comment:

  1. Such a pleasure to read this post and to have your words from our recent phone conversation encapsulated here. I'm so looking forward to reading this book because it will capture your wisdom on creativity.