Swimming

As part of a series on journaling workshops I presented over winter, one of the activities centred around using a sentence to help start writing. Members in the group wrote down the first sentence to the beginning of a story then passed it around the group where all members continued the story with their own sentence.

Each story took unexpected twists and turns than the creator had. This is part of the magic that happens when creating, there are influences you don’t always have control over but it can be worth going with the flow and seeing where you end up.

This was true for the four sentences that were added to mine.

My first sentence was:

Fish swimming all in one direction without thought.

The sentence was inspired by the art work of fish on a canvas in the café where we met.

The photo shows where the others in my group took my story.

first-lines-from-group.jpg

The story went in a completely different place to what I was going to write about. I’m not sure exactly where I was going to take the story of swimming fish, it was going to be something about conformity.

I like how the other four group members influenced the direction of the story and how it changed with each direction taking me to a completely different place. Inspired by their words and influence on the story I decided to change what they had written into a poem (shown in the photo).

swimming poem draft one and two

This is the first draft, raw and messy, and in need of a few rounds of edits. But at least I have something to edit. By allowing myself to flow with this process I managed to write a poem without indenting to and tell a story I’d not otherwise thought of. Also by going though this process, and by going with the flow my logical mind was pushed into the background with all its should and should nots, allowing the process of creativity to unfold naturally.

Of course this process might not have worked. It’s always a risk when creating. By surrendering to the process and outside influences, I as the creator became absorbed in the journey instead of attempting to control every step as an observer. My writing benefits when I’m swimming in the journey and not sitting on the sidelines.

Thank you Carol, Lauren, Jeremy and Nikki for your sentences and influence on this poem. The final poem is in the image.

poem swim

 

Please share below your unexpected influences on your creative projects.

Thank you,

Lilliana Rose

www.lillianarose.com

 

 

Balancing Act

I used to wish for time where I could write uninterrupted. Through life events I’d rather not have happened, I found myself able to take time out from a full time teaching job to write. It wasn’t quiet the romantic idea I had in mind, and as time went on, I needed to go back to work to earn money.

Then began a time of inner conflict as my job drained my energy. I found it difficult to have the time, and space I needed to find the inspiration to write. But slowly I began to adjust. I learnt to carve out time for my writing (this has taken two years to achieve) and find a balance between work (which I do enjoy) and also my writing (which I love).

It hasn’t been easy.

In the process, I’ve found some hidden benefits to not writing full time.

On the ground level, work has provided a chance for me to have a break from writing, and it takes me away from spending too much time alone. As much as I would love to, it’s not healthy for me to write all the time, spending long hours each day alone with my imagination. The real world calls me to be a part of it. Teaching primary school children is a big reality check.

When at school I’m listening to student’s stories, usually about how they are so excited and proud to have a loose tooth. I’m reminded how when five I used to show off my wobbly teeth to adults. I see now from watching students my finger was in the way, and no one saw my tooth, but not once did they let on, just as I don’t now. While working, I’m also interacting with adults, sharing stories, ideas, and teaching practices, which stirs up emotions, memories, just like a wobbly tooth.

At work, I’m interacting with a lot of people, I’m talking and listening, and while this doesn’t feed directly into my writing it helps me to feel part of life. Meeting people at work provides an outside influence, it draws me out of my head and into the real world, and it stirs up sparks of creativity within my mind. It also gives me a chance to help others and provides further purpose to my life.

It’s a complicated relationship between work and writing. I express myself differently at both places. But by realising these two areas of my life can work together in harmony is freeing.

I never thought work and writing could find a balance. But now, my ideas flow just as much whether I’m teaching or not and that’s a good position to be in.