It matters not what you do as much as how you do it. Creativity is not locked up in writing fiction or knitting whimsical socks. You can raise your kid creatively or "by the book" (whose book? why their book?). You can approach your accounting creatively, well, more or less, up to a point when it's not interfering with the law. You can do any of your daily choirs creatively. Or not.
This all applies to the spheres which traditionally (read: by many) are considered creative. You can play music creatively - meaning with a deep connection to yourself, with heart and soul, with inspiration. Or technically - meaning applying the knowledge from books and experience. You can write creatively - any piece you land your hands on, even a short email to a friend. Or technically - meaning, all the pieces are in place, have a sane structure, good grammar and clean spelling. You can knit those socks creatively - mixing colors, or patterns, or textures, or everything together and then something extra (like the embroidery on my cousin's leg warmers, which blew my mind in 5th grade... nobody had embroidered socks in our small blue collar town - I wasn't even sure that it was legal or possible, I was so ready to protest).
You can live creatively. Or not. It's always up to us, in the end, into which sides of our lives we want to add this magical touch which is commonly called "creativity".
So I thought to myself, sitting as usual in my bed, in the middle of a bright summery day, naked. Don't get me wrong. I love a pretty dress as much as the next girl. I love my colorful necklaces. I love my bangles. And my funky shoes. When I am going out.
When I write, all I want is to feel the connection with my naked soul - in her raw, un-decorated, un-fancy state, when she is open and vulnerable. And honest. The way she was when she was born - not more "educated", more "sophisticated", more influenced by the world outside. Same pure, radiant, vulnerable and huge soul which is always there and always will be, from the cradle to the grave, and who knows - perhaps even beyond. It's just as well that my body is naked when I write. Raw, un-decorated and un-fancy - just the way it was from the very first day it was born to the world.
To put your raw naked self just like that to the whole world, in front of those who like you and those who don't, those who respect you and those who don't, those who know you and those who don't have a clue. Those who love you and those who don't.
So much easier to present yourself decorated - not necessarily in amazingly beautiful or even just inspired ways. But decorated, dressed up, with washed hair, with polished nails, with quirky pieces of jewelry on. If not me, the way I am when nobody sees me, the way I think, the way I feel, the way I see life - then my "looks" can be at least mildly amusing. I can even get kind, sincere, encouraging words for being brave and for trying. Lovely. I am getting braver and braver by the day, sometimes by the minute. It's exciting, but not especially scary. Well, maybe just a little bit. Yes, I admit it, it's scary a bit.
But nothing like the way I feel now as I am creating the new space especially for my creative writing. My raw, unfinished, unpolished pieces. I can hear my heart beating high in my throat, ready to jump out. I am sweating. My cheeks turned bright pink, as they do when I have a glass of wine - but I haven't. My fingers are firm as they type, but the rest of me is trembling.
What if they don't like me?
What if they think that I am an an utterly stupid fool?
What if they think that I am a big fat fake?
Yes, they might.
It is totally valid and natural to have your own ideas about what writing should be. It's just fine that each of us has our own understanding of what is talent, and how to measure it. It is also totally up to us to decide what's worth of spending our time doing, and what's not, including what to read and what to write. Finally, it is totally within our human rights to disagree.
I don't want to be judged, one way or another. It's nice to be liked. But it's not why I am doing what I am doing, putting my naked self out there. I am doing it for me. There are songs that need to be sung. Stories that want to be told. Even if nobody else finds them interesting or pretty. They need to be out.
It's not what I do that matters most to me - it's the way I do it. Creativity as a way of living. Writing as one of many forms of creative living. It for some reason stuck with me from my very early years. I would come up with little poems or funny songs before I even could spell. Then there were stories, and articles, and essays, and more poems, and fairy tales, and more short stories, and blogs, and thousands of letters - if not all, then most of which were written creatively. Creatively and spontaneously - with minimum of editing (though usually thoroughly proofread) and almost always with no planning at all. Almost all of my writing is what artists call sketches, and musicians call impromptu as I usually do things moved by the spirit of the moment. I think I first realized that about the way I live, and only much later about the way I write. I don't know what happened first - it's probably almost as impossible to say as which came first, the chicken or the egg. But what I know for sure - the way I live influences the way I write, and the way I write influences the way I live. At this point of my life, they are in harmony with each other. And I know a little too well how much it hurts when they are not.
So this is a new chapter only in a sense that I open up more with you. For me, it's simply another form of what I have been doing for years.