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Thursday, May 7, 2009

How Do You Know When You Are Creative?

Someone posed an interesting question to me this week. The question was this: How do you know when you're really being creative versus just writing to complete a project?

I know when kids are being creative. They exhibit pure joy while they are pretending either with friends or by themselves. They take on the persona of the character they are portraying. They really become immersed in their role and they get lost in their actions.


I stopped to think about myself and my writing. I guess I'm not being creative when I have to labor to put words onto paper or when I keep glancing at the clock to see how late it is getting.


I think I am the most creative when I lose all track of time and allow myself to do what I encourage teachers and parents to do...wallow in spontaneity and the love of language.


I'm creative when I have no thoughts about today or tomorrow - only the here-and-now. All things are created equal when I write. I have no sense of good grammar or bad spelling. My words just flow onto paper.

There must be other ways to know when I'm really creative. How do you know when you're creative...better yet, how do you activate your creative mode?

I'm doing a school visit tomorrow. (or today if you're reading on Friday). Wish me luck!

8 comments:

ern said...

Hey, left you a comment earlier; but I don't see it now. This is the wkend, can't do something this hard. I think things happen during the course of the day which helps stimulate people who are already creative. How to artificially do that...no clue.

Ern

Annie Wicking said...

How do I know when I'm being creative, when the words flow and I'm running out of time to put them all down because I need to be at work. I hope to be creative this weekend and finish rewriting another chapter.

Have a great weekend, Jan.

Tatersmama said...

Time just disappears on me...

Hey, how did the school visit go?

Alison Kerr said...

For me it's often hard to not be creative, to focus in my energy and take care of mundane stuff, like cooking dinner and housecleaning. Too many ideas can be a problem, but it's a problem I seem to be getting better at handling, one step at a time.

Would you be interested in doing an interview for my blog sometime? If so, pop over again to my blog and send me an e-mail - you'll see my e-mail address in a graphic on the right of my page, near the top.

Glue Girl said...

Jan, Like many others here, and you, have said, I think being creative is when you keep getting ideas piling up so fast that you can't keep up with them all. But a caveat; sometimes when you think you're being creative, it starts getting wrong, and you get frustrated because you're not getting quite what you want. I believe that is when you sometimes have to keep reworking your piece. But you have to know when to keep reworking and when to just quit and come back with a fresh eye and ear later. Sometimes the spark comes back and your vision comes to fruition - sometimes you have to just stop and come back to it at a later time. The latter often happens to me when I am getting tired.

Suzanne said...

I'm a bit behind on my blog reading this week, so I'm reading this on Sunday. Hope you had a good school visit and enjoyed your weekend.

:-)

Denise said...

Hey, Jan - thanks for popping by and visiting my blog. I love your article here and completely agree. When I'm in the best throes of writing, the real world disappears and I find myself tromping through my book world (whatever that may be at the time), smelling the briny air, feeling the wind, hearing my characters' voices...then there's the flip side. Ugh! I look forward to reading more from you.

wc#3 said...

Hiya Jan... it's rather serendipitous to find you, as I am an aspiring author...

One of the things my cousin's 12 year old made me do recently is to concentrate on my descriptive writing, which, admittedly, is lacking... so I did. As always, I've found that when I'm writing at pace and mental state that I have when I'm reading someone else's work, I'm in the zone. It's as if I'm not making it up, it's being told to me. I'm the one passively enjoying the story, save that I'm trying to get it all down and my fingers are getting writer's cramps... (I really need to find a better pen than those silly Bics I use... but nothing writes smoother, that I've found)... Thanks again for turning me onto your blog...

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