Monday, January 17, 2011

Loving summer, looking forward to a creative new year

Been a great summer so far in Auckland, and the occasional rain hasn't managed to dampen anything. Went down to the Coromandel for a few days (Tairua, Hahei, Whitianga) and got in some time in the ocean. Managed - between swims - to get some thinking done about plans for 2011. It's going to be an interesting year of writing and teaching.

One thing that struck me when floating in the ocean was how it quiets the mind, replenishes from the inside out. When I step back out of the sea and onto the land I'm aware of the history of this simple act. There's a peace I feel when in the ocean, even if the waves are crashing around me. It has parallels to the writing experience where a writer often feels part of something much larger than themselves, something very old, something eternal. Where creative thoughts will come if you let them.

I have heard discussions over the years of how people are creative, as if creativity is a state, like being tall, or Nigerian, or having red hair. To me creativity is not a state, it's a process, it's an act. An act that takes the form of a thought pursued, a feeling explored, a paragraph drafted and re-drafted, a character brought to life, a conscience searched. A bricklayer commits a creative act when laying brings, because a structure appears where there was none. A gardener is creative, a cook, a mother thinking of a gift for a child.

So make 2011 your year to be creative in action. Read and digest the writing posts and mini-workshops, come to one of our seminars. Work and re-work that text, get advice on it. Search out people and books and courses you can learn from. A fine piece of writing (novel, short story, film script)  is the sum of a thousand small decisions and distinctions. Built brick by brick. branch by branch. Wave by wave. 

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