What Creative Expression?

January 24, 2011 at 12:50 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

From the time I was very young, I wanted to write stories or play the piano, or draw or paint. I wanted to do something that would express a creative side, instead of the practical side that I usually demonstrated. I did the usual drawing and painting that any child does, I tried to write stories like Enid Blyton, and at college I learned to play the recorder. My skill and talent in all of these activities was, at best average. I became convinced that I didn’t have a creative bone in my body. I believed this until I was in my mid-fifties.

That’s when my new husband encouraged me to do what I had wanted to do most in my life – write. I was great at writing assignments and reports, but I wanted to write stories, maybe even novels. So, I went to a creative writing course at the WEA – and I discovered that I could write! What I did there gave me the confidence I needed, and I was off and running. Since then I have written short stories, memoir, poetry, novelettes and a novel and I am still writing.

I discovered after all those years is that at least I can write. I just hadn’t had the opportunity or the confidence to do it. It didn’t matter so much that I wasn’t creative in other ways. Then I started thinking about some of the other things I have done at various times in my life.

When I was a teenager, I made wall hangings using shells I collected at the beach. When my sons were little, I made romper suits and shorts, and knitted jumpers. In my thirties, I took up leatherwork, and made the usual belts, wallets and key-cases, as well as an intricate bag and many bible covers for myself, family and friends. My early fifties saw me doing woodwork, designing and making key racks, pen holders and lots of animal fridge magnets. I even sold them at markets. I also built shelves and a table in my little cottage, and fences and garden edges in the yard. I also made pegged rugs from old clothing in the style common in early twentieth century England. Through much of that time I had also been a teacher, then principal, working out ways to best educate the children and adults in my classes and school.

I had been expressing a creative side of me all the time and hadn’t realised it.

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  1. I am glad to learn that you attempted to write like Enid Blyton. Having been inspired by Enid Blyton, I too as a child tried to write a novel, but I was unsuccessful. It wasn’t decades later after I had outgrown my Blytonian “naivete,” that I summoned up the courage and sacrifices to write and publish a book on her, titled, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage (www.thefamousfiveapersonalanecdotage.blogspot.com).
    Stephen Isabirye

    • Good on you Stephen! Not many fans go to such lengths. Enid Blyton fed my need for adventure and, my being English (although living in Australia), it also fed my need to be part of my birth country. I am now very much an Aussie, but still connected to the land of my birth. I will try to find your book here or on the net.

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