WARNING: The following sketch may contain pretentiousness and pomposity.  If you are allergic to either of these you may be best advised to stop reading immediately.

If you do continue reading, one day I look forward to us meeting in person where it might be nice for us to sit down and enjoy a nice cup of Creativitea together and a nice chat.

I would like, ultimately, to set up a creative writing business or foundation.  I do not have an idea for a good name for it so I have chosen the title ‘Creativity Ltd’ at this stage which may change at some point in the future.  It may also ultimately develop into being an organisation that explores creativity much more generally and helps support people in learning about what their creative processes are and how they can manifest them in the world.  For example, what links the photographic technique of someone such as S.Davies with a creative approach that helps an organisation run better – are they related?

My basic view of creativity comes almost entirely from my own experience though it also comes in part from reading and learning about that of others.  I have found that describing a creative process is monumentally difficult; it often seems to be as elusive as carrying water in a bucket full of holes.   In particular, trying to describe the process of creative writing seems to be vastly difficult.  There seems to be something enormously elusive about using words to describe the process of using words.  It is as if the circle always short-circuits itself at some point.  To truly write about the creative process, one would need to also describe all the mundane activities of one’s personal life as well as the abstract principles involved.  I do not intend to do that here – I am simply creating a small sketch on the overall abstract principles as far as I can – but at some point might try to connect those greater and abstract principles to the basic mundanity of the everyday life of the writer in a book attempting to do what I suspect is impossible, which is the exposition of the creative process of working with language through the very medium of language itself.

If pushed to a description of general principles, I would argue that the creative process in general, and the creative writing process in particular, operates on two fundamental and interlocking principles which are as follows:

1) The process is passive rather than active. Instead of creating something actively, what one is doing is removing oneself from the process as far as possible to allow the words that are latent or dormant to manifest themselves.  When I say ‘removing oneself’ I mean one’s false self – the accumulation of fears and false desires that is our ego, a kind of crust on top of our real and deeper self.  We have to work everyday through our writing and through our general approach to life to remove the false self and activate the deeper and true self.

The more we do this, the more easily the real words rise to the surface and reveal themselves in their true beauty.  Many writers talk of the words appearing as if by dictation when they are truly centred in their own zone of writing and not distracted by the delusions of their ego selves.  Rather than being active, therefore, the writer is a passive instrument of the universe.  The universe decides what we should write; we have a cosmos of words and linguistic formulations deep inside us.    When we access that deeper self, the words come through us and take on a particular flavour and texture based on our own personal experiences, abilities, nature and nurture.   In this way, our greatest writing is that which comes out of the universal filtered through our own particular selves and experiences.  The greatest literature in history expresses the universal human condition filtered through the particular circumstances of the social reality (or fantasy reality in the case of fantasy writing) that is the background for the writing.  In essence, our greatest writing is therefore the universe playing with words through us; we act as a kind of instrument, and allow each word to be a kind of musical note.  Instead of saying that John Coltrane was playing the saxophone on “A Love Supreme”, therefore, one could argue instead that the universe was playing “A Love Supreme” on a saxophone playing John Coltrane.  The only way this was possible was the tireless and daily dedication and focus of John Coltrane on the process of emptying himself of his ego drives on the one hand and on the basic everyday brass tacks of playing the saxophone all day long on the other hand.  There is no substitute for hard work and there are no shortcuts.

2) The process is active rather than passive. What we do as writers is remove as many of our ego desires as possible in order to uncover the words that lie within the universe of our own selves.  The process of being ‘passive’, i.e. allowing the cosmos of words to reveal themselves, is therefore deeply active.  If we write wanting short-term or hedonistic materialistic rewards, our writing reflects those ego desires and the words are not our true words.  That process also takes time.  It is ongoing, daily, and continual.  I myself constantly write sentences that I come back to later and desperately want to delete because they do not reflect the real words that I am trying to uncover from deep inside – they are words reflecting the surface of my being, and words that reflect that surface’s desires for unhealthy self-aggrandisement.  There is no point in our creative lives where we are so established that that process is complete, and we can never be complacent.

My own personal experience of this mysterious and remarkable and incredible process is very limited.  What I have discovered, increasingly, is that within us all there is an entirely unique universe.  In whatever fields we express our creativity, therefore, we have access to a basically unlimited source of energy, which is our creative life force.  The more active we are in being passive, and the more passive in being active, the more we can discover how many true riches lie within.  Inside us are ingots of real topaz, agate, beryl, jasper, sapphire, ruby, emerald, and real gold.  So long as we can prevent ourselves from false chasing after fool’s gold, we can discover that deep within us all there is real gold – and we can discover, through daily practice over the course of years, the true alchemical process of creativity which is our fundamental essence as human beings.  In doing so, we can then manifest our inner gold into golden works.  And in doing so, remind others that the real gold is within all of us, no matter what our backgrounds are, and no matter what false ideas we have about our limitations that manifest themselves as the fears and false desires of our false ego selves.

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