It started with a story. A lie, perhaps. About a dog. She created a pet out of nowhere and talked about him to her friends. Word got back to her mother: ‘So when did you guys a dog?’ After finding out that she’d been confabulating, she got into trouble. It didn’t stop her from telling stories. Except this time, she wrote them down on paper. Or she created them in her head and shared them out loud to help her little sister fall asleep.
It continued with some scribbles in class. And then a few words. The words joined together to form some rhymes. They seemed to flow during the most mundane times. Like when it was essential to focus in science or social studies. The rhymes found their way onto the backs of school books. At other times they were scribbled on the desk.
People around her were good at dancing or singing or art. She didn’t think she had any gifts. Of course she wasn’t creative. She had two left feet, could only sing in the shower and couldn’t draw to save her life. She’d hidden her poems and stories, too shy to let the world see them. Some others had found their way into the dustbin.
It was only one day when her seven year old sister came home from school and told her that her class had loved the story she’d written, that she realised she just probably could write. Sure, she was mad at her sister for taking her story without permission but she was secretly pleased at the response.
Was it a gift? She couldn’t tell.
But it was something that she could work on.
So she wrote for years — a scribble here and a scribble there. Poetic lines and rhymes. She had only one critic as she was afraid for the world to see them. Slowly and surely, she let the world see her pieces. It was easier as they couldn’t see her. But her love for writing grew and to nurture this creativity, she took up a course. A course that would open her up to face-to-face feedback. A daunting task but one that she has been doing for over a year.
She can see herself getting better. Nowhere close to some others she admires. But far better than where she has been.
If you ask her can creativity be learned, she’ll tell you it can be pruned and honed.
Because, in the end, everyone can write. Everyone has a story.
We just need help in telling it.
To do that, we need to be brave to share it.
***Linking with the Write Tribe Festival of Words Four – Day 1***
Until next time,