Friday, March 29, 2013

The Need for Creativity

It's been a while since I last posted, but I have been a busy bunny.

In the past few months I have taken up full-time work at a natural health store in the city where I live. It is a mixture of retail and something close to pharmacy. People come into the store and tell me what their problems are, and I see if I can help.

They have a cold, I recommend some supplements or nutrients for their immune systems. They are stressed, so I recommend maybe some Bach flower essences or herbal medicines to relax the nervous system. They are getting muscle cramps at night, so I advise magnesium tablets, etc.

It's good work.

Unlike writing, you have constant face-to-face contact with the people you are trying to reach and support. You get feedback too. I love feedback. It lets me know if what I am doing is working or not.

Though I have recently been published in The Art of Healing Magazine, Organic NZ Magazine, and The New Zealand Journal of Natural Medicine, these articles go out into the void and I never know if they have made a difference to the readers. But I do hope.

Asides from this good work, I am focusing once again on my poetry. After a long string of rejections in 2012, I am picking myself up off the kitchen floor and getting back into it. Rejections are hard. Every creative knows this. While at times it feels like a slap in the face, it is good for us. Or me, I should say. It reminds me that whether I am successful or not, good or not, publishable or not, I still have to write.

Why do I have to write?

Not long ago I had coffee with a friend of mine who is currently in employment by the local council. It's a good job and she worked long and hard to get there. But now she has little time for her creativity -- her botanical painting, and her knitting and sewing.  She told me, though, that she can't just give up because she has no time. Creativity, the will and drive to make something out of nothing, is in her -- and it is not going away.

I was glad to hear her say this, because I feel the same!

For the last few years the drive and passion for writing and storytelling has gripped me. It will not let go. And please God, don't ever let it. After a few weeks of no creativity, I start to bunch up inside. I snap at my partner, bark at our dogs, snarl at customers (well, on the inside, sometimes) and just feel downright cantankerous.

A few moments of pure, unadulterated writing is all it takes to transform me back into the zen-like creature I like to imagine I am most of the time.

Recently this all took place. After a few very long weeks of working over-time at the shop, I was feeling rather Orc-ish. One night after hissing at my boyfriend over something significantly trivial, I took myself off for a late night coffee and a session with my notebook.

Instead of writing about how bitter and terrible my life was, I started writing a story. It was a small story, a cute story, about nothing in particular, just a man searching for something -- I have yet to finish the story though, and find out if he reaches the end of that journey.

But that one night opened up the dam again. Ever since I have been writing pages and pages of notes, poems, stories, quotes, lists, etc. It helps. It helps so so much. I need it, the way a bubbling pot of newt eyes and bat wings needs the lid taken off once in a while to let off some steam.

I don't write because I want to be a writer. I write because I have no choice.

If it doesn't make life easy at times, it makes it interesting.

And isn't that better?


  1. You ARE making a difference. Kudos to the creative process!

  2. Thanks so much Kim! I really appreciate your comment. :)



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