What inspires us to write, to compose, to sculpt, to design? I’d love to believe in the fantastical possibility that creative fairies visit us in the middle of a good night’s sleep and leave us with sparks of creativity that can eventually become one of our works of art.
In my own creative process, I love the sparks that come almost fully formed—a poem or short story—that I can clumsily write in the darkness of my room under the faint light of a small lamp. The magic happens as words flow like water in a clear, sparkling stream and I can usually go back to sleep, content. Although subsequent reviews of the written work will bring changes and improvements, in these instances the writing seems almost effortless.
Then there are the creative sparks that are faint and not fully formed and which will haunt me for days, like the burden of a task I’ve intentionally left undone. Through my daily routine, I am constantly aware of that spark that came uninvited and that I have left unattended. The magic in these instances happens when I take the time to explore it, then to develop it, and eventually to savor a finished written project.
Less magical but part of all writers’ lives, is the writing project that comes to me with structure and deadlines. In these cases, the challenge is to meet imposed parameters and rules from outside forces with creativity. This type of writing seems to require the most work, but in the end is equally satisfying when the words express exactly what needed to be said.
So why is writing magic for me always, regardless of the source of inspiration or amount of work? It is because whether from a fairy’s spark or year long research, it is deeply moving and exhilarating to create that written product that will touch a far away reader’s heart, mind or soul in meaningful and positive ways.
Yes, writing is magic.