Down the Road of My Ideas

In class this week our discussions revolved around creativity, particularly in the sense of writing. “What It Is” to me explores the idea of what creativity and writing really are, and how we can do it as well. Lynda Barry shows her own way of making a story through her creativity. This sticks out to me in its simpleness, yet difficulty to figure out on our own. The activities in the back of the book show us how we may imitate or make her style of writing that we see throughout the book. While coming across writers block it seems impossible to get over and letting the creative juices flow becomes impossible as we strive for that one idea that appears to be forever out of reach. We tend to create our own writers block when we cancel out certain ideas, feelings or impulses, as these may lead to that one epiphany of the next big idea!

When certain ideas happen in the brain, we ‘x’ them out, thinking things like “sounds ridiculous” or “it’s just plain stupid”, and we don’t allow these ideas to develop. But if we allow these ideas to enter our minds, where will they take us? Like any good paper, there are rough drafts. Not everything is perfect. We sketch things out to what we hope they will become, which is reflected in the idea of doodling. While it may be conceived as rude, doodling is a great way to get ideas out there as they happen since as quickly as ideas or memories appear they can just as easily disappear. Often times people can sit around waiting forever for an idea to come their way, waiting for their inspiration to write (at least, this is what I tell myself as I push off writing papers). But doodling gets around this, as ideas or thoughts in the brain can be put on paper, and be interpreted in multiple ways. From this one idea I can have multiple ideas depending on how I see it. Why would I draw this? What was I thinking while drawing this? Is it an idea? A memory? What exactly was I trying to represent? The possibilities are endless with an open mind!

Even for when ideas aren’t coming into the brain at all, thinking back into your memories proves to be a useful way of looking at the world through an alternative lens. The activities section of the book is a good example of this, as Barry gives multiple examples of coming up with clear memories. One repeating idea is that certain memories come easily to us, as we can recall small details about certain things in a memory that we can reflect on and interpret with the power of time separating our emotions between now and then. Of course, Barry doesn’t mean that we should write entirely based on our memories, but what they could possibly mean to you now, how the situation may have changed to you. Memories help us see things from a new perspective, as we look both internally and externally.