Tag Archives: creativity

ways of seeing?

Right now, I’m in my second year of graduate school. I’ve been attending the University of Baltimore, which has helped my writing tremendously. UB’s MFA Creative Writing & Publishing Arts program helps you tap into your creative side. For example, there is class called, “Creativity: Ways of Seeing.” At the beginning of every course, we had to read Wallace Stevens’ poem,  “13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” and for every reading we had to read it differently. One time, we read it in a made-up language, which I guess defeats the purpose of “reading” the poem, but it was fun and a bit embarrassing. I’ll admit, when I first took that class, I was like, “What the fudge?” For me, writing was about creating and all this observing crap was just some artsy stuff that I wasn’t into, but slowly but surely I found myself being transformed into an artist. After the semester, I approached writing completely differently. I wrote my first drafts by hand; whereas before, I would type directly into the computer, which for me limited my creativity. I begin to keep a writing journal, so whenever a thought or a couple of lines from a story would enter my mind, I would write it down. In hindsight, “Creativity: Ways of Seeing” was I course that I needed to become an artist. By the way, what are your 13 ways of seeing?

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you ain’t been bit by the writing bug?

Have you ever felt like you aren’t in the writing mood? When the manuscript looks you dead in the eye saying, “Girl, you better finish me,” but instead of finishing it, your response is “Not now.” And “not now” turns into weeks, months, and even years. Here’s a solution: At the University of Baltimore, we have a philosophy called “plork.” It’s a play on the words, “play” and “work.” It’s a philosophy that asserts that the creative process is exactly that–a process–and it is something that must be honed everyday. Creativity doesn’t just fall out of the sky. Take these words from the Plork Humanifesto: “Creativity is a practice not a talent.” Try doing that and see what magic occurs. Sometimes, as writers we rely too much on feeling inspired to write. Yes, you should feel passionate about your subject matter, but there will be times when you aren’t particularly inspired, so you have to push yourself.  Remember artists create something from nothing. Creativity lies within all of us. Let her out and she will reward you.

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