You have less control over your environment and the environment in which your children grow than you think. The variables are infinite. For two weeks I’m writing about Creativity’s Terrain and the variables you can control. Yesterday I wrote about the value of Reading, a lot.
If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing. -Benjamin Franklin
Highly Creative people write.
Martha Graham, mother of Contemporary Dance, wrote draft, after draft, late into a thousand nights to translate her ideas into human movement. Graham said,
I did not want to be a tree, a flower or a wave. In a dancer’s body, we as audience must see ourselves, not the imitated behavior of everyday actions, not the phenomenon of nature, not exotic creatures from another planet, but something of the miracle that is a human being.
Architect Christopher Alexander wrote many books, including The Order of Nature series, to empower future designers, both professional and amateur, to create work inspired by true human needs.
Nobel laureate Neurologist, Rita Levi-Montalcini published dozens of scholarly articles detailing her discovery of human Nerve Growth Factor, as well as In Praise of Imperfection, her autobiography.
Across domains, Highly Creative people communicate their ideas through the written word. They also write to understand their own ideas. Playwright, Joan Didion says,
I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.
American writer, Ernest Hemingway said,
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
Creator and mentor to Artists across disciplines, Julia Cameron, recommends keeping a large notepad and paper by your bed to write as soon as you wake up, everyday. She says,
In order to find our creativity–or for that matter, our spirituality–we must begin where we are.
Cameron recommends using writing as a compass. She says,
The tool that best helps us find our spiritual bearings is called Morning Pages…
Morning Pages are three pages of longhand stream of consciousness that locate us precisely in the here and now. They are written first thing upon awakening and they tell us–and the Universe–what we like, what we don’t like, what we wish we had more of, and what we wish we had less of, and what we wish, period.
So, write to find where you are and what you need to be Creative. And write to explain yourself and your ideas to the world. But, write.