Thought on creativity and silence…
I have been reading Sara Maitland’s ‘A Book of Silence’, it has been profoundly medative, both from a spiritual and creative perspective, and has lead me into 2014 with many questions and a new resolve for my writing.
It isn’t a New Year for me; I take the beginning of spring, March, to be my New Year, but it is a change, a recharge and a remembrance that we are is still in the dark months and we need to keep the light lit within us all. It is all too easy to be lifted by Christmas and celebrations and to then forget that we must keep the light inside us active and then we can plummet. So my ‘resolution’ of writing more needs to be more than a gesture and a thought – I do tend to have many thoughts that don’t manifest themselves!
‘Gossip from the Forest’ was my first introduction to Sara Maitland’s writings and ideas. I loved that book, I loved the exploration of place and story, of the connections to the soul and creativity that forests have, and also the reinterpretation of the fairy tales. ‘A Book of Silence’ got me thinking about spirituality, but from my writing’s perspective it allowed me access to exploring creativity and what allows/hinders us the chance to be creative, productive and fulfil the job.
There is a dichotomy within me and I suspect many; I love connecting to friends and family, being part of a community and society but I also relish my own time away from most and then sometimes everyone. So often I feel guilty for wanting to hide away and avoid society, but I have never really given it much thought connecting to my creativity. When I create a play with others, devising, directing or acting I have to be with a trusted ensemble – it’s the nature of that wonderful art form. However, now that I am putting my hand up and saying yes I am a writer, I need time away from others to allow the work to formulate and construct.
If I talk about an idea it becomes diluted and disperses into the ether and I can never really find the narrative or way to express the idea again. If I keep it within, jot down a few barebones, mull it over and then come back to it as I sit at my laptop, then it finds its magical life force. Friends have said how do you find time to write? It’s true it’s hard, it’s even harder since becoming a mother and having to put aside selfish needs, but if it is going to happen (and it has to come out) then I have to clear the way to allow for the time to be alone, to be able to create. It means I am often seen as anti-social, correspondence gets put to one side, I don’t make the effort with keeping in touch, meeting up, having a chat…..the list goes on and I feel guilty about this…. And then I read this book and suddenly I almost had permission to stop the guilt. I think I have always known these things, but sometimes you need someone else to tell you this. The wise Sara Maitland has done this with a grace I love.