Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The creative process

[Last blog for the term. See you here in January 2010, but don't forget that you can search this blog for exercise ideas any time -- see tips at end of this entry.]
'There is also often a feeling, both in the artist and in the recipient, that the artist not so much creates but reveals a reality. It has been said that nobody noticed the mists on the Thames till Turner painted them... Books reveal to us another aspect of reality... the aesthetic experience has to do with a feeling or revelation of some half-perceived, apprehended truth, which is discovered, not invented.'
Hanna Segal there, 1991, Dream, Phantasy and Art, Routledge, London & New York. Page 94. A fascinating psychoanalytic exploration of the roots of art, especially chapters 6 & 7.

The trick for us teachers of creative writing is -- and this is the gist of a short presentation I'm doing for the Melanie Klein and Object Relations class -- how to get the artist/writer/maker into the inventing/discovering process. Of course you can't make a person create; the urge, the wish or even just the curiosity has to be there. Must be there, otherwise the student wouldn't have signed up for your class. (Or are you in an education situation where you have to teach and the students have to do creative writing? In which case your work is to light their fire; same methods can be used.) I believe that everybody has some creativity in them; and everybody -- even experienced creators sometimes -- can use a little help in letting the creativity out... which means a journey inward to discovery.

'Kerr's ideas are inventive, sparkling, and inspiring and she comes up with many useful solutions to commonly encountered problems... Kerr leads potential teachers through all stages of the teaching process.' Extracts from Zuzanna Bartoszewska's review of Creative Writing: the Matrix in Writing in Education issue 49, Autumn 2009. It's the journal of the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE)
http://www.nawe.co.uk Just had to share that with you, dear reader :-)

LAST CLASS this week. I had a chance at a guest author, always a thrill for want-to-write students. But I have so much to share/do to wrap up the Hero's Journey that I declined. Then we'll be off to the pub for a farewell heroes drink. This is the place where once a month former hero writers and other adult student writers meet to continue the support beyond the class -- a community of writers, how good is that. I drop in now and then to see how they are faring, offer encouragement and to be with writers.

Because of the psyche presentation this will be my last blog for the term. See you here in January 2010, but don't forget that you can search this blog for exercise ideas anytime -- try 'stimulus', 'exercises', 'class materials' and 'starting term' for these. And there's an exercise extract from my book, plus tutor tip extract, on my website for the book http://www.paxtonpublishing.co.uk