Writing class stimulates creativity, intelligence

At the end of every year, it seems pretty natural to reflect on the events of the past year. What you’ve done, who you’ve met and what you’ve learned play through your head like a highlight reel. Among all of those kinds of thoughts I could entertain here, the biggest step I believe I’ve taken this year is in my creative writing.

Before my enrollment in Berwyn Moore’s Creative Writing course in the fall semester, I hadn’t spent the time to write anything with a creative twist, short of the lame jokes I considered building a stand-up comedy career on. So far, it looks like it would be a short career on stage.

But now, after two straight semesters of time delegated to write creatively, integrated with immensely helpful peer workshops, I sense that I’ve developed a passion for putting some of my abstract ideas, stories and characters to paper. In addition to the delegated time to write and receive feedback, I considered how else my writing has thrived this year. I discerned one other prime catalyst to my creativity: literature.

Yes, literature. While initially I shied away from educating myself too much for fears of losing creative ingenuity, I now embrace reading, studying and analyzing poetry and prose. The subtle themes, images and language—as well as the discussions those three things proliferate—inspire my inner muse. One minute, it’s “I can respond to that!” or “The author didn’t quite mention this, I could expand upon that idea!” The possibilities are endless.

For instance, after reading Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of the Locke,” Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and sections of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” I decided to try my hand at writing epic poetry. “Gates” is nowhere near completion, but I look forward to the work I’ll be sure to put into it.

I’ve also discovered that being around other creative writers (i.e. my peers) has sparked handfuls of ideas that catch my interest. The back flap of my workshop folder has several items of scribble that contain ideas I’ve jotted down after hearing a poem or maybe some that have just popped into my mind while taking in the creative atmosphere. Of all those ideas, I’ve written on less than half of them.

The point is, this environment, both the higher academia of Gannon University in cooperation with the time spent among my colleagues, has jumpstarted my flair to write creatively.

What scares me is what will happen after I leave Gannon. Once I have a full-time job, will I still have time to continue to write creatively, or will my 9-to-5 demand all my attention? Will I find another group of excellent writers to workshop with? And, most important of all, will the passion to write that I have developed throughout this year last as I get older?

I can only hope, because creative writing makes me feel alive.

 

DAN KUBACKI

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