is a term of praise much affected by the critics. It is presumably intended to mean original, or something like that, but is preferred because it is more vague and less usual (cf. seminal). It has been aptly called a 'luscious, round, meaningless word', and said to be 'so much in honour that it is the clinching term of approval from the schoolroom to the advertiser's studio'.

H.W. Fowler
A Dictionary of Modern English Usage
2nd Edition

In high school I took "Creative Writing" and "Creative Arts" (not in the same semester). The same teacher taught both classes and I was always very fond of her. She tried to help me rise above my situation a couple of times. She came the closest to understanding who and what I was. (No one has ever completely understood me. Not even myself.)

In the bookshelves behind her desk I first lay eyes on one of the books that has held me up many a time when I would've sunk forever beneath the tempestuous waves of adversity. That book 'A Bridge Across Forever' was my first introduction to true 'creative writing'. I didn't actually read it for a long time afterwards (perhaps if I'd asked to borrow her copy and read it in the ninth grade I could've salvaged some of my miserable youth).

The ideas in that book connected with me (when I finally got around to reading it) in a way that nothing had before. It is philosophy and fantasy, truism and fallacy. Because of that book I read other works by the same author. 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull'. 'One'. 'No Such Place As Faraway'. (And a few others that I can't recall the names of right now.) Regardless of the author ( Richard Bach or what anyone might think of him), those works and the ideas they conveyed are full of good things for the human spirit. Because of one or two of them I made it through times when I might really have given up and stopped my life altogether.

True creative writing or art of any kind, must come from a point of contact with the human spirit. You have to 'believe' in order to put yourself out there. (And you must believe in more than the flesh that holds the pen.) At times, as I have learned, you have to believe in something just to get out of bed in the morning. You must believe just to want to take your next breath.

I'm not sure what I intended for this post to be when I started it. A definition of creative art, a thank you note to a lady from my distant past, an expression of philosophy? I'm not sure that it's any of those things. Maybe it's all of them. Maybe it is just creative.

Being creative is like hunger; it can't be ignored. Whether it be out loud, through writing, or in a movie, my creativity is expressed somehow. That's how I cope with it. A lot of my life has been a long experiment to hone my skills in as many media as possible -- so I can choose the best way to eat for every hunger.

The place to start is writing. Writing is the meat and potatoes: the standard, healthy meal to which all other meals pay tribute. Meat and potatoes are the machine code that higher art compiles to. It's not always visible, but it's always there.

You have to figure out all the technical details first. What kind of meat? How should it be cooked? Are the potatoes mashed, baked, or raw? Everything should be decided in advance to get a consistent texture. If you change your mind about the potatoes halfway to the end, you're left with a potato that has one side baked and the other side raw.

Do you put any spices on the meal? Any illustrations or diagrams?

Then you figure out pacing. How do you eat the food? Slowly? Quickly? Do you accelerate as you go along? The delicious parts are the best, but you need sour parts for contrast; without valleys there can be no peaks. Eat the best part last so the flavour can be left the longest. If you mess up the pacing, you'll still get the flavours, but they won't be experienced as effectively as they could have been.

Writing is one of many ways that you can relieve your hunger. Discovering new ways is half the fun, but writing should always be the first step.

Cre*a"tive (-t?v), a.

Having the power to create; exerting the act of creation.

"Creative talent."

W. Irving.

The creative force exists in the germ. Whewell.


© Webster 1913.

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