It occurred to me that in naming this blog I didn't really think about what I was really trying to say. Do I want to be born with a squeak, or do I want to shout? Did I cry when I was born, or was I silent? I was two weeks' premature and very small. Did I fight back? Was I afraid?
It wasn't until my friend Leonie said to me that I should post my poetry somewhere that I saw any real point to having a blog of my own. What would I say? Could I say anything relevant? I had been silent for such a long time.
I wrote my first novel when I was around seven years old. It was about a calf with wings, called Cloudy. The novel filled up at least two school books, written in pencil in large, painstaking print. I kept writing poetry right up until I started university. At school I won a regional award, had my poetry published in the school magazine, and performed on stage. I wrote long, train of thought prose, without rhyme or embellishment.
During a year in the Netherlands on student exchange I swapped my latest writing with an American friend, Liz. Liz was equally angst-ridden and slightly out of place. We fed each other for years, until her depression and my need to move on drove a wedge between us. One of the good things of the last few weeks has been the renewal of our friendship - both in a better place.
Then it was back to New Zealand, and off to university. There I learned that I was a Westie chick. I did not fit in, and worse, I did not write in the accepted style. Everything was po-mo, and I was a naive realist. Which was about when my muse was silenced, unless you count a huge MA Thesis on cyborg identity in the classroom a work of creativity...
Ten years or so passed. The muse continued to remain silent, and I got on with living another life. But of course you never really forget your muse, and I really started to miss her. I decided I wanted her back.
Last year I tried working through The Artist's Way. I didn't get very far. I felt it kept trying to tell me that I had writer's block because of what other people had done to me. Well, sure, I didn't fit in at varsity, but the only person I was really angry with was myself, and naming myself over and over again in endless exercises was pretty limiting. Besides, getting out of bed in the morning to free-write was just never going to happen. I was an Artist's Way failure.
The exact events that led to me writing again are a little too complex to go into right now, and will probably be elaborated on in pieces over time. Suffice to say that one day I wrote. Then a few weeks later I wrote again. Funnily enough my writing had changed. I was creating wordscapes. Where did that come from?!!!
Let's just say that I decided to write when I was ready to write. And when I was ready, it came easily. However, it's taken me several weeks to decide what to write in this first post! This was rather public. Who was I and how did I want to portray myself to the world?
Inspiration came when I decided to Google a search for "creative women". Hello all you beautiful creative women out there! Where did you come from?
These 10 Commandments really struck a cord when I read them. I know I've seen them before, but this was the first time I think I have heard them. I need to start at number one. I need to remember that I am a creative woman! I have to have faith in that which is in me, and I have to have faith that it is good and worthy, and should be spoken.
- You will always remember: You are a creative woman.
- You will honor your creativity by nurturing it.
- You will honor your sister's creativity by nurturing it also.
- You will allow yourself to take creative risks.
- You will use your creativity to express and increase the beauty of the world.
- You will use your creativity to express truth.
- You will use your creativity to see more beauty.
- You will allow yourself and your art to be a work in progress.
- You will allow your creativity to be the "true voice" you hear when others may scoff.
- You will accept and love yourself during times of feeling fallow, trusting this quiet time is necessary to precede new birth or creation.
I decided I needed a shower before I could begin to write. In the shower I opened my mouth and sang, loudly - the first thing that came into my mind. Unfortunately the first thing was The Beach Boys: "Wouldn't it be nice". I hate the Beach Boys! They were playing over the PA at the gym before I came home, and must have weasled their way into my subconscious. Anyway, I mashed them up and made them my own. I love the way my voice has power when I sing, and how it has depth. I want my writing to be like my singing.
So my first blog ended up being sung - not squeaked, not shouted. Kind of a nice way to begin really...
Thanks beautiful women/woman!