Creativity in Writing

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My wonderful Sweetie enrolled me in an online Creative Writing course as a Christmas present.  He wanted to encourage my blogging, and this was such a great way to do it!  Since it seems a shame to write and NOT post it on my blog, I’ll be posting my assignments here as well as submitting them to my instructor.  Here is the first one:

courtesy cartoonstock.com

What’s so important about creativity?  Who really needs it?  Is it possible to live a healthy, happy life without it?  These are all vital questions because creativity itself is vital.  Creativity is what brings life to the world.  If nothing is ever created, no new ideas or materials can become a reality and eventually everything will just grow old and die. The way our world functions is a prime example of divine creativity.  Each day, flowers bloom and fade, people are born and others die, species evolve and become extinct.  The cycle of life is the constant creation of new ideas and new materials, and the depth and breadth of the variety of species on earth point to ultimate creativity.

Creativity is vital in every industry, to every person, and in every situation.  Some people might say that it is humans’ intelligence that separates us from the other animals of our world, but I believe it’s our creativity.  Creativity is how we generate culture, traditions, new ideas and new products.  When a company is floundering, it often just needs some ‘new blood’ to get it going again – a new creative force to come up with some new ideas.  When a topic of study is being taught creatively, students absorb and retain the information much more readily.  When a movie is being made, its success or failure as a commercial endeavor depends wholly on the creativity of the writers, actors and directors involved in the project.  Creativity is what makes things interesting.  Creativity is what gives our lives flair and keeps us actively involved.  Our brains are wired to respond well to creativity.

It is for this very reason that creativity is important in writing.  If I want to tell you about my day, and I simply log the facts, you’re not likely to pay attention for very long.  But if I add some color to my ideas, and provide details in a creative way, you’ll be much more engaged and willing to connect with my tale.  One of my biggest complaints in college was text books that lacked creativity.  What is wrong with writing history in a way that engages the imagination and fosters human interest?  I couldn’t stand to take a history course in college, but I very much enjoy reading historical novels and watching movies based on real historic events.  Why?  Because the writers have used their creativity to make the story worth paying attention to.

This creative writing class is so named because its purpose is to help us tap into the creativity we already possess, simply by being members of the human species.  Not everyone will express their creativity through writing.  Some design art, some create music, and others may make video games.  Even accountants and mortgage brokers have an opportunity to improve their craft by using their creativity.  One of my chosen creative outlets is writing, and I look forward to this course as a reason to practice and hone my written creativity.

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Run Away Kid!

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So there I am, driving down the highway on my way home from the Bean’s speech therapy session, when I see a young boy standing by the side of the highway, looking like he’s trying to cross!  Outloud, I say, “what is a boy doing on the side of the highway?”  And I decide that I don’t have any other choice but to turn around at the next exit and make sure he is okay.

He’s a little further up the road when I get back, and there is a woman following him from a lot further behind.   I drive up beside the kid and ask him where he is going.  Does he need a ride anywhere?  He gestures back at the woman behind him, and I ask, “Are you with her?”.  “Yup, I’m running away”.  Oh, okay.

I get out of the car (luckily there’s a flat spot beside the road there) and try to talk to him but he keeps walking up the highway.  The woman finally catches up with me and I tell her to jump in the car.  We drive up past the kid and we get out.  Meanwhile,  he’s started climbing up the hill above the highway.  We try to talk him down, and he goes up higher.  I start to climb up the hill, hoping that he’ll let me get closer even if he won’t wait for the lady he’s running from, but he goes even higher.  Then I cut my hand on a sharp rock. :-(.

A female police officer stops and starts talking to the kid, and a male police officer shows up on a motorcycle.   I’ve loaned my phone to the woman who’s chasing the kid and she contacts the school.  It turns out that the kid is 8 years old and has run away from St. Vincents, a residential home for boys close by.  The male officer disappears, and just as I’m getting into the car to get out of their way, I see him grab the kid from the top of the hill.  That’s why they’re the professionals.  I didn’t think of that.

I’m so glad the kid is safe, but I wonder what made an 8-year-old run away from school. The school he lives at is for boys who have had major psychological trauma including severe parental abuse and neglect.  I can’t imagine what this kid has been through in his short life already.  It’s the kind of thing that people like me only see in movies.  Of course, if I continue with my plan to become a school therapist, I’m going to see these things more than I want to.  I guess I’d better start getting used to the idea.