Wrong Hand-ing — The Struggle was Real

A few days ago, I dealt with the most difficult task — to write with my wrong hand.

In my script writing class, I was challenged to use my wrong hand, my left hand, for at least three hours. Then, I must record the things I did with my wrong hand in my creative journal using my wrong hand.

Doing the simplest things with my left hand was quite hard, but writing proved to be the hardest. Not only did it require an extended time to accomplish, but also demanded extra effort to keep my hand from shaking. I decided to write an elementary rhyme poetry just to attempt fun when I’m actually struggling with the difficulty. Do I dare to share the silly poem I wrote? Yes I do:

Wrong Hand-ing

An accepted challenge
Three hours and a wrong hand

I wrote with pen on paper
I typed on phone and computer
I turned the key in the lock
I managed to put on a sock
I flipped the pages of my book
I held my spoon and ate my food
I put my shoes on effortless
I wiped and wore my purple glasses
I combed my hair into imperfection
I stirred my caffeinated concoction
I turned the knob on the washing machine
I opened the door out and in

All these I accomplished
with undeliberate slowness
using my left hand

Writing with my left hand was a real struggle, but it was fun. An exercise I can torture myself with repeatedly while at the same time laughing at my fails. I did fail miserably, but it was part of the creative adventure. Indeed, I learned that I should indulge in silliness like this once in a while because by doing so I discovered that my left hand, a part of me I usually take for granted, can also create magic — though not great art, still a product of another unexpected creativity flow.

And this is the messy result (well, part of it):

wrong-hand-ing

Introducing Simon

In my script writing class, we were required to have a creative journal where we can freely express, in any way we want, our response to our professor’s assigned task or idea. For the first entry, the class was asked to creatively answer the question, “Who are you, really?”. The second entry was specially designed by a random classmate since we were tasked to exchange journals. The third entry was quite difficult but still fun.

My creative journal is starting to get a little messy, maybe it’s because of the unblocked creativity. Creating seems easier; the matter simply flows from the mind to my hand then it travels through my pen’s ink to the blank page. After realizing the truth behind my lack of creativity — the barriers of creativity, I have started to break the rules and I slowly learn the unconventional ways. Although I still strive to lessen the mistakes, I find the messy and random refreshing.

SIMONI usually baptize my journals before I write anything on them, but a suitable name did not occur to me until today. Just a few minutes ago, I named my creative journal. I named it Simon, a dark and mischievous name. I find it fitting because my journal is plain black and the things in it are just unexpected. You see names of Lord of the Rings characters and indie bands on the first page, then different drawings of Hello Kitty in the second page. It’s fun though, the uniqueness of it, and I’m sure it will be quite a trip down memory lane if I decide to look at it a few years from now.

I’m thrilled to know what the 4th entry will be — I wonder what kind of mischief will Simon be on to next 😉

Creativity: What it is and what causes my lack of it

The title of this post is evidence enough to prove my fail at creativity.

However, I learned in my script writing class that simple or intelligent words and minimalist or vibrant colors do not measure art or even the creativity of a person. Art is not pretty; it’s supposed to make you feel something, then that is when you realize it’s wonderful. Creativity is what guides us to make art, whatever kind of art that is. All my life I believed that creativity is being all ‘artsy’, playing with different colors in a canvas, composing deep music, or writing long novels and I was pretty convinced that I am not creative because I could never create a beautiful picture when I try to paint, I don’t make music I only listen to it, and I only read books. (As you’ve probably read in my previous SPILL post, I’m still struggling to go back to writing short stories.)

I’ve been enlightened. My script writing professor taught me that creativity is not all about producing something beautiful. Creativity is making something with a purpose, a purpose that will make people realize that what you made is beautiful. Creativity is looking into the future. It’s thinking of unlimited possibilities, of ‘what could be’. It can be a whole new invention or a re-creation of something existing into something innovative, serving a different purpose than what it used to be.

I am more of a ‘do what you can and be done with it’ kind of person. I rarely think outside the box. I stick to what I know because it’s easy. I’m always afraid to cross the line between safe and danger. What I didn’t realize is that I was missing the adventure of exploring my creativity. I learned in class that there are barriers that hinder us from being our most creative and I am guilty of quite a few of them: I am a practical person, I always follow the rules, I think too much, and I make sure everything is correct that I forget how mistakes can be beautiful too. Being like this limits my creative capacity. Also, although I have fun when I write, I usually fear the reaction I will get from people when they read it that causes my backpedaling and editing which then makes the product less creative and more ‘by the book’ and not quite the writing I want to publish, so instead I hide it until I completely forget about it.

I think I have not yet realized the full potential of my creative genius and there is so much more to learn. I need to break these walls that block the flow of my creativity. I need to delve deeper into my imagination, play with it and see if I can use it to create something that will make people feel, something beautiful even when it appears messy.

Have you ever created something like that — beautifully messed-up? Or maybe something you consider inspiring, moving, revolutionary or life-altering? Do you ever wish you can someday?

Summoning the Daemon

or Genius if you prefer the Roman counterpart.

I realized I have a writing problem. I told myself it’s because I’m too busy and I have no time to write anymore. I tried ignoring the voice inside my head saying, “This is serious. Serious.”, thinking it was just a phase. Well, it is a phase. A dark phase I don’t know how to get out of. It occurred to me that I haven’t written any short stories in such a long time; it seems that I’m stuck writing short poetry. I haven’t really thought about this until now and it scares me. I started wondering what caused this problem and how to conquer it. The answer was revealed to me in my script writing class a few days ago.

Now I know 50% of the cause of this problem: my Daemon (or Genius). The other 50% is me being unfocused and not dealing with it.

Daemon – Greek: divine, magical spirit of creativity coming from an unidentified source to aid humans (for unknown reasons), in creating a work of art, a masterpiece or anything

Genius – Roman: see meaning of Daemon above; they basically mean the same thing (You can Google a more accurate definition.)

I was convinced that my Daemon doesn’t like me that much anymore. Perhaps because I became lazy and boring, so he decided to play tricks on me. Yes he is a he and I want to call him Clark. Surely, naming your Daemon is not against the law. His tricks are cruel; he rarely visits and when he does, he never stays long. Short and sudden visits that always leave me troubled. He teases me with all these appealing ideas, but before I can retrieve my pen and paper he withdraws them, leaving me clueless. He attracts me with beautiful words, but halfway through a sentence he disappears and I find myself sitting in front of my computer staring at the blank page and cursing at the blinking cursor, unable to continue.

Can’t I do something about my rude Daemon? Does he have complete control of me, of my creativity or can I control him?

Recently, I learned that I can do something. I found out that I can control my Daemon; if I’m determined enough, I can have complete control over him and not the other way around. I have the power to command him. I also have the power to make him go away when I’m not in the mood. I learned that I can drag him back when he tries to escape, that I can make him face the wall when he’s naughty, accuse him of not contributing enough, or tell him to shut up or slow down when he’s talking too much and I can’t catch up. I realized I can call, ignore, dictate and confront my Daemon. Writing is going to be much more fun from now on. I don’t care if he’s divine, I can summon my Daemon anytime I want.

I learned all this from Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk on creativity.

Spill

Spill (v.):

1. to fall or flow over the edge of a container

My thoughts and ideas are raging yet contained, kept at bay by barriers that are my insecurities. My mind is a container, overflowing and wishing to be emptied.

2. to move or spread out into a wider place or area; spread beyond limits

I want my thoughts outside my mind, beyond the walls of my skull, into the ether — under the scrutinizing eyes of my masters.

3. to disclose; divulge

My secrets will be told not in whispers, but shared proudly — encrypted, metaphorical, or plain standard. I choose to reveal my lowest highs and highest lows.Read More »