Posts Tagged ‘knowing yourself’

I never really thought of myself as a creative person. Maths was the subject I really excelled in at school, and my brain is built for logic and argument. Even back in primary school I knew I wasn’t an artist. In reception I was the tallest girl in class, then a new girl moved from a different town. She was taller than me, and she could draw people with their arms by their sides; the people in my drawings had arms sticking out at right angles, like chunky scarecrows. The teacher told me off for drawing a line of sky with the sun below it. I never regained confidence in my artwork and got used to the idea that drawing was something I wasn’t good at.

I wasn’t musical either. I took piano lessons aged 12 or so. There’s a section in music exams where the examiner will play a selection of notes on the piano, and you have to sing the notes back to them. My piano teacher advised me that we should work on the assumption that I’d get 0 points in this section of the exam – if I could ace the other sections, hopefully I’d still be able to pass. She said she thought I might be a genuine ┬ácase of tone deafness.

As well as maths, I loved reading. I could write too, imitating styles I’d read and sticking to the rules. Still I never saw myself as creative; I wrote assignments for school, but didn’t write for pleasure. I think one of the things putting me off was my perfectionism: the more I learned about, say, the rules of poetry, the rhyming scheme of a sonnet or the rhythm of iambic pentameter, the vast tradition and history that influences a new piece of work… the more I felt that I could never produce something right, something good enough that fit all the rules and was worthy of note.

When I met my husband, I thought we were a perfect balance of opposites. He’s an artist: a painter, a songwriter and musician, a photographer and a filmmaker. I was the philosopher, the analyser.

Given all that, why did I start blogging? Honestly, I didn’t really know what blogging would be like. I thought it would be a bit of writing about life, a bit of reviewing free stuff, maybe a way to get some writing work. I had absolutely no idea that I’d become part of this┬ácommunity of fabulously creative individuals. I’ve come across so many amazing photographers, writers, poets and thinkers – normal people living their lives, but living creatively and making a little mark on their little bit of the world. Penny at Alexander Residence has been writing a radio play.

The Headhuntress in Hampshire is working on a novel. I’m inspired. All over the blogosphere, people are taking photos for Tara’s Gallery and Jay’s Silent Sunday. Maybe I’m a photographer too. I’ve found people who are like me, whose ideas I agree with, who also happen to be wonderfully creative. I’m starting to think maybe I am a creative person after all.

Read Full Post »