The course has been a good learning experience for me in two main ways. First, I have really been stretching my abilities into different kinds of writing and creativity than I have in the past, or at least been comfortable with trying in the past. Specifically poetry. I actually claimed for a long time (up until about the last 9 years) that I didn't 'get poetry.' It seemed so abstract and odd to me; turns out I just hadn't been reading poetry that spoke to me. And then I was introduced to Billy Collins and fell in literary love with his words (especially his An Introduction to Poetry) and have been interested in poetry ever since.
One day of the course we were encouraged to write a poem and this is what I wrote (cabin fever and three little kids were my inspiration).
I even tried out for the first time ever Black Out Poetry which I found to be quite challenging but exhilarating too. I grabbed the closest thing to me which turned out to be a World Vision magazine, and got to blacking out portions of the type. I have always thought it would be a relatively easy thing to do, but it turned out I was really flexing my mind and creative limits. Black Out Poetry is something I'll definitely consider trying again when I'm feeling stuck in creativity.
My Black Out Poem:
We were community
Vision of perfect
When addressing fear
I am not mature
In a place I've never been before
We never imagine the suffering
Now it takes something rare to be happy
Clean changed to dirty
so many have to sit on the floor
The second thing I'm learning during this writing course is that I do not. DO NOT. make the time for my creative self. I don't and I really wish I did (and know I should) but like lots of Mums I guess, I continually find myself the last in line by default. There are babies to tend to, pets to feed, laundry to be done, rooms that need picked up, a husband I want to spend time with, bills that need paid, food that needs prepared...and I generally find myself exchanging the time it would take to shower (let alone write!) for taking care of someone (or something) else.
The course is 30 days and if I'm being honest, I've completed about a third of the day's writing assignments. ugh. I've printed all the information in hopes that even after the course officially ends online, I'll complete the writing questions and continue to learn how to make time for my own creative soul. I've logged on a few times to share my writing - because I know this is truly the aspect of the course that is probably most beneficial; to get the chance to read and share work with like-minded people. But I know I could be more committed - I want to be more committed (!) but it is a fault of mine that somehow the weight of it doesn't feel equal to the weight of my other responsibilities (which is not true, but Moms).
This past week we were asked to reflect on our kids (or important people in our lives) that we could give a one page message of advice of lessons we've learned in life. Here's what poured out of me:
My most repeated affirmation during the course has been, "I have a creative soul and it is valuable." I am refusing to cross this task officially off my 100 small things list until I have completed each day's worth of writing assignment. So until then, I'll keep marching along and figuring out how to get my heart and mind on the same page for my creative affirmation.
I HAVE A CREATIVE SOUL AND IT IS VALUABLE.