Nobody wants their head in a book all the time–whether it’s a sketch book, a notebook, or a novel. You can miss a lot of fun and education if you aren’t paying attention and participating in the life around you. That’s why this blog is called A Creative Life. It’s not just about “the art, dahling.” Keeping your head down writing, painting or throwing pots can get tiresome, not to mention that crick in your neck. We can run the wellspring of creativity dry if we never take a break and try our hand at something new.
In order to accommodate what might be considered a handicap, I try to use my ADD tendencies to my best advantage. I can’t write in just one genre. I write poems, essays, short fiction, songs, blog posts, letters, inspirational talks, plays and screenplays. I am never bored. Some readers will think, “How do you ever get good at one thing?” The short answer is: I write every day. Most of the famous dead white writers wrote in more than one form. Most of them (think Shakespeare) at least wrote poetry, as well as plays or fiction.
Occasionally, one should get away from writing altogether and dive into a different form of creativity. I love to watch a woman knitting. I enjoy playing with clay. I like gardening when it’s not too hot and there aren’t too many bloodsucking insects. But most of all I like to cook and concoct yummy things to eat.
I get my ideas from poring over cookbooks. Then I figure out what I like the best about each recipe and put together something new. Isn’t this like writing? You read a lot of other people’s work, mull it over, then use what inspires you to create a final product that is essentially, uniquely you.
This year my strawberry crop was, well, a bit overwhelming. I had gallons and gallons of beautiful red berries. I won’t go into how hard it was to pick them, but next time you eat fresh strawberries for dessert, give a thought to the man or woman’s aching back who picked them. Anyway, I wanted desperately to preserve some of those berries for cold winter days when that bright red taste would remind me that summer would come around again. So I made jam.
It was my first time and I made a mess. Nothing worked the way it was suppose to. Sticky red smears covered my kitchen like a crime scene. I’m not new to cooking, so I figured if I did this, then that would happen, and so on. I read the essentials then rid myself of the recipe altogether. I have good luck with cooking and fishing. I don’t know why I haven’t stuck with those two things. I guess I love a challenge.
Every day, in as many ways as I can imagine, I try to live creatively. Take this strawberry jam, for instance. I couldn’t just label the stuff “Strawberry Jam.” No, I used a name invented by my chosen family of friends we call the Bickersons. Everyone had to have a name that started with a B, and I got Bubba. That’s where Bubba B’s came from. The jam itself is the essence of strawberry, so very strawberry that I call it strawverry. Sure, these things are silly, but they’re fun. And fun, to me, is essential to living a creative life. Once in awhile, try something that won’t break you heart, only a few glass jars, should you fail. And success; well, success leads to strawberry jam on hot buttered toast in December!