Creative Process

Routine, I find, is both a comfort and a discomfort.  Stripped of all routine when I first became ill, I floundered about looking for some order to the resulting chaos.  I longed for a routine, like a navigational device, to help me define exactly where I was in all the madness.  (Still compass-less I’m afraid.)

At the same time, I fear a numbing sameness – a morose monotony of nonsensical repetition.  I remember doing anything to break the boredom – taking a different route home from work, turning my lessons upside down, or rearranging the classroom – anything to invite new energy.

I feel the same about writing.  It is seductive to find a comfort zone and stay there – convincing myself that this is perfecting my craft, however; I suspect a trap.  Ego, I’ve noted, likes to sabotage.  Exploration is the only way to expand creativity and ignite revelation.

Let me illustrate.  Take a simple thought:

I cried because I was alone
then opening my eyes
discovered another
also alone
my image in the mirror.

Possibly interesting concept, dull delivery.  The image craves development.  One thing I have been experimenting with (wherever possible) is removing pronouns, or any references that personalize my poetry.

loneliness cried
opening eyes
discovered another
also alone
mirror image

Well, this is better, but sounds like a flowery way of saying misery loves company and that’s not the essence I wanted to capture.  What if I do some word/concept association?  Will this help me expand my ideas?

loneliness – feeling of rejection, abandonment, not belonging, desire unrequited, left out
crying – tears, release, unable to contain, unrestrained emotion, grief
open-eyed – awakening, willing to see, open to possibility, searchingdiscovery – new appreciation, renewed hope, joy, alternatives, perspective
other – outsider, relationship, communion, community, connection
alone – isolated, cut-off, solitude, retreat, respite
mirror image – reflection, reversal, commonality, empathy/sympathy, not alone

Not sure this helped, but I’ll try putting it back together using the associations.  Maybe I’ll play up the personification.

abandoned and rejected,
grieved unrestrained,
then willingly,
opening to possibility,
discovered hope,
in solitude –
not alone.

I like this better – the message is more satisfying.  What happens if I turn the whole thing upside (taking liberties, of course)?

In solitude,
discovers –
hope, and
possibility –

unrestrained grief

Wow – I like this even more.  I feel as if it is an invitation from the soul to grieve.

I challenge you to explore and expand your own writing.  What hidden messages await your discovery?

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

3 thoughts on “Creative Process

  1. School is finally completed for this year. The past month or so got extremely insane. Another chapter completed. I can now turn my focus to writing a new chapter.

    I ran across this posting. I see that it is an older one, but liked seeing the progression and thought process you went through. I just revised a poem that I started a while back. It went through many steps and “rethinkings”. I love the writing process.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks and congrats for surviving another school year. Tomorrow’s posting is also about the writing process – a different approach. So nice that we have each other to glean inspiration and ideas. Appreciate the comment.


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