I haven’t done much writing this week because I began to question my creative writing and whether it was okay. I started to compare it to the writing of other’s and felt that mine was somewhat inferior and I find that this often happens when I am trying to be creative – anxiety about not doing it right can stop the creative juices from flowing.
I think this stems back to an Art lesson at school many years ago. I think I was 11 at the time and the teacher held up my artwork. I was so proud, so excited – she was holding up my artwork. She was going to talk about my cover for the Radio Times that I had invested my time and effort in. “Girls,” she began (and I held my breath in anticipation) “this…” (I was hoping for “is brilliant”, “is delightful”, “is an excellent example of what you should be aiming towards”), what she said was “this is what not to do!”
I remember my jaw hitting the floor as my heart sank. I wanted the ground to swallow me up as my face went redder and redder. I hadn’t realised that what I had done was so awful and that was what upset me most. I thought that I had done a good job. I stopped attending Art classes then – feigning headache and womanly issues so that I could spend time in the Sanitarium, rather than under the art teacher’s watchful gaze. I didn’t do anything creative for years – I didn’t dare.
Many years later though, I learnt about growth mindset and decided to apply what I had learnt to a creative pursuit – sewing. I wanted to show my class (and myself) what one could achieve with the right mindset. I had always wanted to learn to sew but was scared of failing – thus the need to adopt the growth mindset approach. I not only learnt how to sew, I became pretty good and have made clothes, quilts and all manner of bags. I then learnt to crochet and knit and was so surprised when people began to say that I was creative.
I began to realise that not only was I creative, but that I loved being creative. I adore interior design and am lucky enough to have a husband who can help make my creative ideas come true (he is very good at all DIY)! I also love being creative in the classroom – turning it into a rich learning environment where the children and I love being. I miss my classroom at the moment – it is festooned with butterflies and I was really looking forward to creating new displays for the Summer term.
I really enjoy teaching art now and am so grateful that I am able to give children a different creative learning experience to the one that I was subjected to. In September, I began to run the lower-school Art club and the children I teach think I am a wonderful artist! I’m not sure that I am wonderful but I relish any opportunity where I can be creative. That is why I joined the #DailyWritingChallenge group, because I wanted to flex my creative writing muscles. I do worry about being judged again but what I realise as I finish this, is that it really doesn’t matter what anyone thinks as long as I enjoyed creating it. As Albert Einstein said: