Monday, December 31, 2012

Creative Writing in the Practical World

Watching a three year old dance around and jump and trying to sing a song and you can see it.  Seeing a four year old tackle their aunt and become a tickle-monster and you can see it.  Creativity can help in our everyday life.  The joy, energy, amazement, and wonderful excitement that a box and a pile of dirt can provide is endless.  Why does it have to end with adulthood?

Children learn through play.  Work and exercise are important, but so is relaxation. In order to perform at our peak levels our minds have to be as well rested as our bodies, if not more so.  With all the stresses in our lives we need to have a healthy outlet.  Creative writing provides this outlet.

What is it about the play that helps children learn?  The biggest part of it is that they are having FUN.  They enjoy the little things in life; they see the wonder in the simplest of things.  We as adults can learn from them.  We all know that we put more effort into things we enjoy.  Work doesn't have to be boring work.  If we can open our minds back up to the wonders of the world around us, our stress levels will go down, our brains will create more endorphins and we will be happier and healthier... and so will those around us.

Through creative writing, we are able to recapture some of that awe.  Our minds are able to explore the senses, to escape from reality, to explore countless worlds, and to discover the un-discoverable.  And in the process we also organize our thoughts.  We must create a structure for our imaginations to grow.  Our minds are like abandoned gardens needing tending.  The trellis must be cleared off, the roses pruned, the path cleared.  Our gardens are our own.  There are so many plants, stones, and other decorations that you can sculpt your garden to the style you like.  While some are large, elaborate, and well groomed, others are more natural and simple.  That doesn't mean that they are any more or less beautiful.  They are just what they are.

There are many adults who haven't tended their gardens in years.  Many may have even forgotten how.  Those of us who still have a garden, whether large or small, have the responsibility and the joy to share that with others.  I am not very good with literal gardens.  I don't have a green thumb, I have a gangrene thumb.  However, I do have a bit of talent with writing.  Not as much as many, but more than others.  I can only hope that what I have others can enjoy.  That is the larger reward... the joy on another person's face when they have accomplished something, when they have found escape in what I have written or what I have helped them to write.

Many people focus on practical writing, but I say that creative writing is practical.  A tool that encourages and enables an individual to grow as an person and improve their literacy is... priceless.

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