Creative Writing

So my boyfriend and I are moving to a new city.  I’m doing a flip off some cliffs just outside of the city in the photo above. It’s hardly a city, but compared to where we live in Vermont, it definitely is an upgrade.  Or, a downgrade if you ask me (or him), but we’re following his dream, and his dream happens to be located in Marquette, MI.  We’re going because he wants to earn a MFA in Creative Writing and to teach at the college level.  I envy him because I can’t even get a job right now, and he is willfully giving one up.  Anyway, back to the point.

I wrote him a small note expressing my nervous excitement at moving to a new place with him.  We’re both originally from Vermont, and so it is a big move for us (physically and in terms of our relationship).  I explained how I was excited to see where things went, and to explore a new area with him.  It’s always easier to say those things in writing. Especially because you have time to craft exactly what you say, whereas I often just blab out incoherent thoughts when I try to speak about such things.  As an aspiring social studies teacher I think this is important to note that students need to practice both speaking and writing clearly.  After reading my note he shared a short story he had written back when we first started dating.  It was beautiful.  It was full of emotion and I realized how talented he is.  I wonder what mix of practice and innate ability it takes to be able to express oneself in this way.  It reminded me of Gardner’s multiple intelligences, because some people can be incredibly talented or competent in one way, and struggle in other areas of their lives.  For instance some writers might not be able to hit a baseball, but they could beautifully describe a scene at a baseball game.

While we were in Marquette this past week we looked for an apartment.  My boyfriend had a “good feeling” about this one woman that we spoke with over the phone.  He half-jokingly and half-seriously constantly reminded me of his “good feeling”.  We saw the apartment and then the woman said she would check our references and that some other people were interested.  She told us she’d get back to us.  I had an inner freak out over the next few days while we looked at a couple of terrible places and awaited a call from the woman.  I was worried that we’d leave Michigan with no place to live, but my boyfriend kept reassuring me, “Don’t worry, I have a good feeling about this one.”  Again, this keys into my impatience at uncertainty, and my constant compulsion to judge or cap a situation before necessary.  It’s that “but” impulse in me that I wrote about earlier this week.  I am that kid in school that needs a “right answer”.

On the last day of our trip we heard from the woman.  We got the apartment.  My impatience was unnecessary and made me worry for no reason.  I think one key trait of creative people is patience.  Perhaps my boyfriend’s creativity when it comes to writing is enhanced by his ability to constantly redraft and pour over one sentence or paragraph.  It takes a lot of patience and energy to be a creative writer, as it does to be competent in other creative avenues.  I finally figured it out!  Patience.  It’s definitely something I could work on in order to improve my creativity in any situation or in any of my intelligence competencies, but it is a hard thing to practice since I am incredibly impatient.  I think I would be the one in those delay of gratification research videos to eat the marshmallow.  I believe patience is key to enhancing creativity because if one is more patient one is willing to consider more options.  I need to keep that in mind as I navigate the job market (again, like one of my earlier posts about possible jobs).  I think about how this would inform my teaching, and I think working on patience is incredibly important for many reasons.  For example, patience with all students allows a teacher to maintain high expectations for all despite setbacks and or failures of lessons or activities at engaging all students.

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