“Withdraw into yourself and look, if you do not yet therein discover beauty, do as the artist, who cuts off, polishes and purifies, until he has adorned his statue with all the marks of beauty.” – Plotinus
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Welcome back to the third episode of Creative Writing Tips. My name is Jason Youngman. It’s mid September, 2019, and all is well with the world. Today we are going to reach for the jugular vein of creative writing, so as to transform a supposed negative experience into a positive one.
Let’s get pumped in order to jump right into the swing of things! Could you rub your hands together to create some warmth? Rub your hands faster, faster, faster. Feel that burn? No burning sensation you say, keep rubbing until you feel it… Then run your hands gently over your face. Allow your facial skin to absorb the heat as your mind settles and becomes tranquil.
Now it’s time to make some magic for your creative pen. Think back to a time in your life when you reacted with embarrassment to someone. Perhaps that person said something in a public place that triggered intense emotional discomfort. Choose a memory that has surfaced in your mind from time to time over the years. A memory in particular that sometimes leaves you feeling distraught, powerless or ashamed.
Next, compare your negative memory with one of my embarrassing experiences: During my first year at University one of my Professors asked if we had any questions about the course. This was the last day of class for the semester and so he wanted us to dialogue about the course content. He spent around 10 minutes trying to get us to engage, but there were no takers, so the hell with it, I took the bait. Yes Jason, his eyes lit up with relief. Dr. Prickly, do you recall the first day of class when you spoke about the significance of coffee and how it relates to people on all levels of society? His face opened into a pool of frustration as he surveyed the room. Yes Jason, matter of fact I do, he spoke quietly, while slowly walking towards me, and based on the facial expressions of the students in this room, it’s consequentially certain that you are a burnout.
Let’s stop the story for a moment. Now try to feel the friction you felt in your hands while rubbing them at the beginning of this talk, and magnify that intensity tenfold. Very good, now transfer that sensation into your face in order to feel the blood redness of my embarrassment. To make the situation worse nobody wanted to change the subject, so the good Professor spent the rest of the class explaining every facet of how coffee impacts our lives, from the way we create laws right down to how people socialize at coffee shops. The funny thing about this ordeal was that it was his best lecture ever, probably in his whole career for that matter, but somehow he perceived me as some kind of instigator.
As much as a part of me wanted to have slapped his face into a red chilli-pepper, the man gave me an incredible gift, and now this gift is yours. As you rewrite your embarrassing memory, slowly implement absurd changes into the story. For example, we could depict Dr. Prickly with a pink dress. Go all out and explain in detail how his chest hair would protrude through the centre opening of his cotton filled d size bra. Don’t hold back on how his high pitched voice would make the students worm in their seats. Can you hear Twinkle-Twinkle Little Star being played in the back ground? Of course you can, just imagine it happening, and continue to overlap the scenario with all kinds of ridiculous features. As you rewrite your story just keep adding outrageous stuff. Continue to interrupt the memory until it becomes like a corrupted digital file that can no longer be played on your computer.
And that my friend is how we can use creativity to transform even the most appalling experiences. For creative writing is truly liberating, so write your own gospel everyday if that’s what it will take to purge your-self from mental slavery. Get down and touch the ground to transcribe your words in the sand if it pleases you, and watch the world open to you in ways that you can only imagine! The word is a living and breathing fire, use it wisely my friends. In the next episode we’ll take a look at how to kindle the fire of creativity. You’re listening to Creative Writing Tips. My name is Jason Youngman, until next time, happy writing.