"I can't write."
When I share with people that I teach writing as a practice, I can’t tell you how many times I hear one of these 3 responses:
- “I can’t write.”
- “I’m not a writer.”
- “I’m not creative.” (thinking that free-flow writing is the same as creative writing).
I get it. I shared last week in Creativity & Free-Flow Writing that I didn't feel like a "real" writer even while earning a living as a writer for 16 years. And I didn't feel like a "truly" creative person until free-flow writing practice opened for me a new understanding and relationship to creativity.
So, I DO get it.
AND... I'm here to share a few perspectives about free-flow writing and creativity that may free you, as well:
- To the “I’m not a writer / I can’t write” people, I want to say something similar that a singing teacher said to me: “If you can talk, you can sing.” Similarly, If you can think, feel, and sense; if you can notice what’s alive in and around you, you can free-flow write! In fact, free-flow writing isn’t really writing. It’s more like taking dictation. You're a stenographer. You write down the thoughts, feelings, sensations, and images that arise, judgement free.
- To the “I’m not creative” people, I want to say, “Not a problem because free-flow writing isn’t the same as creative writing." It's true that free-flow writing QUICKLY connects us to creative-flow and our authentic voice (when we surrender!) But we don’t worry one tiny little bit about writing “well” or “creatively” or in a certain “style” in free-flow writing.
As Jungian analyst, Marion Woodman says,
“In the journal, you are not trying to be artistic. You are simply expressing energy. The journal mirrors you – you are trying to see who you are.”
I also want to scream from the mountaintops: “You can’t NOT be creative. It’s who you ARE.” Says Mathew Fox in his book, Creativity:
“Creativity may be the nearest one-word definition we possess for the essence of our humanity, for the true meaning of ‘soul.’”
And remember last week's gem from creativity researcher, Scott Barry Kaufman:
“Creative expression is self-expression. Creativity is nothing more than an individual expression of your needs, desires & uniqueness.”
Writing what’s true and real and alive in the moment -- your needs, desires, and uniqueness -- what a POWERFUL + JOYFUL creative act, available to each of us.
Want to write?
Take a pen & prompt journey:
In this moment...
Keep your pen moving as you write the thoughts, emotions, sensations, and surroundings alive in the moment. Don’t stop to think or edit.
Accept ALL that you write - the pretty & ugly; absurd & boring. Discover what wants to be felt, known, expressed, released...