pen and ink drawing

Creativity

Work progresses on my latest novel. It is still on schedule to be published between the first and the fifteenth of May. It’s exciting getting nearer completion and ideas are bubbling up for the further trouble that Madeline Abbott and friends will get into!

Creativity is a strangely complex thing. I believe that most people are creative in their own ways. Not everyone is a painter, not everyone is a writer and not everyone a musician or a glass blower. But life itself demands quite a bit of individual creativity on a daily basis. Cooking meals, creating a comfortable home, and certainly raising children.

Creativity for me has long been a conundrum. I have been creatively driven all my conscious life. Drawing, constantly as a young child. Trying to teach myself to paint. Because of my particular circumstances and where I grew up, art classes were not available to me. I was self-taught until I attended university. What an eye opening experience that was! In my sophomore year I attended my first life drawing class and my path was set for the next thirty years.

I have painted the human figure, in one form or another, since then. Strangely, something else happened along the way.

I had kept journals most of my adult life. I wrote and wrote. Then about ten years ago an idea for a novel appeared in my head. I thought about it a great deal for a few years. Finally, I began to write. I had about one third of the story written and much more of it in my head. Then my studio was broken into and lots of things were taken. You guessed it. The manuscript was in a cheap nylon briefcase (at the time I wrote everything longhand on legal pads) and I suppose the thieves thought it might hold a computer. Well, it was gone.

I was put low by that. Very low. It kept me from writing again for another two years. Finally, I started again. I changed the story. Somehow I just couldn’t go back to my original characters and story line. The only thing I kept was the combined settings. What I wrote and finished was Unkindness of Ravens, my first novel.

Most of us remember those who have helped us on our path. In High School I had a fine teacher, Mr. Jerry Merritt. It being a small rural school, teachers were required to cover several subjects. Mr. Merritt taught everything from History and Civics to a foreign language. He was a source of constant encouragement, whether he knows it or not. I don’t know what exactly he saw in me but I still remember he challenged me to do whatever I wanted. He believed I could be a writer or be a painter (The one thing I was never going to be was a great French speaker).

My creativity has evolved over time. Most artists/writers/musicians say they are most creative early in the day with a mid-day break and a short afternoon session. My own routine could not be more different! While certainly not a night owl, my peak creativity and energy is early afternoon to evening. I know this about myself now and tend to plan accordingly. My husband tries to understand.

I also tend to be a slow starter in the morning. Embarrassing, yes, and I still try to fight it, but I find it a wasted effort. If the rest of the world would only cooperate!

 

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