I have been thinking a lot about creativity lately. How I long to provide opportunities for Charlotte to be creative and how I have stifled creativity in my own life.
When I was in elementary school and early junior high school I loved to be creative. I wrote all the time, and even had my own chapter book completed in grade 6. (About a girl who lived on a horse farm... anyone remember the Thoroughbred series???) Somewhere along the line, I became nervous about being creative and not wanting to mess up. Or overly conscious about pleasing other people and feeling like I couldn't even begin to create because "they" might not appreciate it, or think it was any good. Creative writing was the most difficult course of my undergraduate degree in English. I couldn't get into that head space after years of writing formal essays. I couldn't just let go.
It has been on my mind a lot as I look in our play room and see piles of plastic toys, all made to be played with in a certain way, most of them not encouraging creative play. I found a blog entry on family drawing time and I love the idea. I discovered the blog because of a book I found at Chapters called "The Creative Family" by Amanda Soule. I looking through it at the store and hope to get a copy soon. Her blog is beautiful and I enjoy reading about the creative endeavors their family takes.
Today I discovered a blog entry on working through creative fear on Ali's blog, one I check from time to time. Although she comes from the perspective of a scrapbooking life artist, I think what she has to say applies to any art. This is a beautiful quote, and I'm just going to put it all here instead of trying to write it in my own words:
"To me, perfect is actually taking time to tell your stories. Risking that bit of yourself to document your experience. Perfect is carving out a bit of time to be creative. Perfect is embracing the imperfection inherent in creating something that comes from your heart, and your head, and your hands. Let it go. Simply begin writing. Tell the story in simple, plain sentences one word at a time. Keep writing until all the words have spilled onto the page and then go back and edit. Perfect is actually telling the story rather than letting fear keep you from sharing the lives and lessons of your family." -Ali Edwards
So here it goes. Now is the time to stop reading about creativity and venture out into it. Get my hands dirty. Let my imgination soar. Let my curiousity get the best of me. We only have this one time, this one chance to take risks and see where life will take us. I think that children are naturally creative, but they will probably take more risks when they see their parents doing the same. When they are given freedom to explore and play and discover. What will we create today?