Don't Snuff the Creativity

Where does our creativity come from?

People tell me all the time that they could never be this creative. Not true. It starts when you're a kid.

Yesterday we were discussing superheroes at work. My co-workers tend to miss my chatter when I'm on vacation. I think it all started with someones eye twitching. It took me back to my childhood. A twitching eye would usually mean that I was receiving telepathic messages from either aliens or my superfriends. If I concentrated I could very well respond to their hails, prevent some unforeseeable disaster, and calm my twitching eye.

This week I've been focusing on my male protagonist and have found it necessary to mimic some of his behavior. (I'll post about this tomorrow.) It makes me pause and consider what stands out in a person so much that it makes us pursue them, cling to their every word, try to imitate them. I reverted back to childhood memories and my favorite superhero: Superman.

I was in love with Superman from the moment I saw him in cartoon form until he took on the brawny shape of Christopher Reeve. Around the age of six, I pulled out an old blue outfit, took some scissors to it and made myself a costume. I was Superwoman. I had powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men, or women. The funny thing is that instead of wanting to fight alongside Superman, I just wanted to play house. As I grew older I found myself fawning over Christopher Reeve, replaying his movies, freeze-framing the VCR so I could hurry to the screen and smooch him, praying to God that nobody saw me.

Around the same age, a friend of mine decided she was Wonder Woman. That was cool. I liked her costume, but secretly I was ecstatic that my character was stronger than hers. After spending an entire year of pretending, she told the entire class what we were doing, embarrassing me to death. Till this day I've denied it. How dare she reveal my secret identity. Needless to say, we're no longer friends.

Why are children drawn to these heroes? What is it about them that holds such attraction?

Heroes are inherently good. They can falter, yes, but mostly they'll do what's right simply because they're the good guys. They make me want to be better people, give everyone the benefit of the doubt, recycle, donate something to someone just because in doing so we can save the world with a single act of kindness.

Here's wishing everyone a heavy dose of creativity and smooth writing.


  1. Told you I couldn't wait. Loved this and I also remember my superwoman costume I wore when I was 21! Maybe someday I'll show you a picture!

  2. We all need heroes and I agree, they inspire us to do what we can to make our world a better, and safer place.

  3. Desert Rocks, that would be great, then I'd know what you look like. :D

  4. Kerri, big welcome to you! This is so true. Heroes are important, specially for kids. We all need a good role model.

  5. Creativity definitely starts out when we are kids and unless stifled will grow into a great thing. I of course recall the hero scenarios as well, but also the daily rides to and from school. I would conjure stories in my head of what I saw outside the bus window. My favorite one was a simple thing involving me on a motor-cross bike driving at incredible speeds dipping, jumping, and weaving around the numerous obstacles out there on the rolling landscape. I would let my mind see the bike slip into culverts or do flips over parked cars. It was harmless and helped me pass the time.

    These days I use that ability, like you did with your day in the life of Craven, to let myself sink into the eyes of my characters. I try to imagine what they their senses might be picking up on. Then, to the best of my ability, I jot that imagery down before it is lost.

  6. You are so right. You would not believe the stuff my 3 year old comes up with. If my mind was still that unencumbered, I'd probably be a genius. When I was a kid I had an imaginary friend who was a fox named Red--not very creative, I know.

    I think heroes are very important in books and other media. I love heroes who are thrust into uniquely human dilemmas. Doing the right thing, maintaining your integrity and always doing the honorable thing when everyone around you is being cowardly and selling out--it is so hard to do. I love a hero who does this, especially at great personal cost. It's inspiring. I can't think of a good book example off the top of my head but my fiance and I have been totally obsessed with that show Game of Thrones and Ned Stark is one of these characters. (I was devastated by last week's episode). Anyway, my point is that heroes are very inspiring. They come in all forms and I think as we become adults our idea of what constitutes a hero changes radically and that is very interesting to me.

  7. A fox named Red. Hey, whatever works. At least you didn't have an alien friend, but he was real useful...^-^... I've never see Game of Thrones. I have to check it out.


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