By Claire Enos
Today I sat down to help my 11 year old cousin brainstorm for a personal narrative essay he had to write. It had to be meaningful. Something important to him. His mind immediately jumped to Scout Camp because it was fun, but just by asking him why it was important to him I could tell that he was only thinking about the shallow insignificant things. He wasn't focusing on the friendships or relationships he developed out there at camp, or the skills he learned, or even the difference it made in his thus far short life. I tried to show him what I meant by shallow and meaningful but it wasn't sinking in. He was still just skipping across the water, seeing the small iceberg from above rather than the whole picture. So, I thought about his dad who died last year. I remember how sad he was when he realized his dad wasn't coming back. That's the kind of deep emotion I wanted him to portray, but he was ignoring that part of his brain and kept insisting he couldn't think.
I think that the ability to think of the big, deep, and meaningful things is what sets creative people apart from other people who are more logical. We can see how these experiences affect us on a deeper level, and then portray that in our writing, or art, or music. It's these feelings that make us creative in the first place. Sometimes we might find a block in our mind that doesn't allow us to feel these feelings, but in order to be great we need to feel something. If we can't feel what we write then we can't make the reader feel something.
Maybe this is why journal writing is so important. It allows us to write what we feel with no boundaries, and allows us to work through our feelings in a productive non-harmful way. So, I'm not saying that not being creative is a bad thing, I guess what I'm saying is that I'm proud to be creative because it's a part of who I am. I am emotional and over the top and sometimes I overthink everything, but that's just a part of being me, and being creative helps me to dial it down a bit.
What do you like most about writing?