A creative writer is only as good as his teachers
Creativity means ingenuity. It means inventing something of very high utility, miracle, mirth, philosophy and principle. The art of creative writing is defined as the skill of writing that goes beyond the boundaries of what we may call the stereotyped course of writing. It is absolutely different from the ambit of professional, journalistic, academic and technical forms of literature. It is also considered as the sort of writing which, besides depending upon a host of basic rules of grammar, remains swathed in intense emotion and filled with infatuation for the phenomena that occur in our surroundings. Most importantly, it also reveals the depth of emotion, the quality of philosophy, moral values, ethical ethos and psychic pathos that a writer is unbelievably blessed with. But the most vital question arises – How can schools help nourish the rare talent of creative writing in students?
What modus operandi the school management must use to gradually unfold to find the innate creative personality in their students?
Once I was watching a talk show on a popular television channel, in which a famous movie actor was being interviewed.
‘Who made you so great a master of histrionics?’ asked the TV anchor. ‘Whom will you give the credit of what you are today; and due to which you win the hearts of millions of the audiences both on and off the silver screen?’
‘Ummm, my English teacher…and no other person’, answered the actor spontaneously. ‘My English teacher in a dramatic gesture, used to fall down on the floor of the classroom while teaching a lesson only to give us the real feel of the lesson and from that I learnt how to reveal and conceal various human feelings so naturally and beautifully. I am the by-product of the perfect theatrical art and skill of my English teacher. If he had not dramatized in the classroom in the course of teaching, I would not be here and my histrionics would not have been so good’.
Ernest Miller Hemingway, the Nobel Prize laureate and American litterateur, had once said that we are all apprentices of a craft where no one ever becomes a master. That is why, it is always said that writing is the profession which calls for consistent practice and persistent refinement. It is a continuum of self-improvement with the natural pace of time. Writing makes a man perfect – there is no denying that fact, but what about the art of creative writing? And, most importantly, how is it different from other genres of writing? Last but not the least, what is the fool-proof method to get mastery over the art of creative writing in English?
Professional writers across the nations in the world say that the art of writing is about thinking, thinking and thinking. For mastery over creative writing one essentially needs to become highly introspective and thoughtful. Saying things in a flowery style and philosophical language with esoteric meaning is the essential condition of the art of creative writing.
However, intrinsic art like that of creative writing cannot be taught, tailor-made and nor be learned. Nonetheless it can considerably be developed through bringing about changes in the ways of learning, teaching and knowledge-gaining dynamics of the students.
It is often said that if you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or tools to write. There is no denying that more reading means more information, more knowledge, more ideas and more imagination, and more situations to write about. When we read something we get enlightened about a string of things which normally never occur to us. And if we have all these things in plenty, our pen would slide across effortlessly on the paper, writing whatever topics we have chosen. We would never face any problem which is professionally called ‘writers’ block’.
It is said of Percy Bysshe Shelley, the famous English romantic poet, author and playwright that once he went for an essay contest. All the participants wrote pages and pages but Shelley wrote just one line of only seven words and won the prize. The topic of the essay was ‘Jesus turning water into wine’. It is a well known fact that the topic has a religious connotation in Christian countries. Shelley wrote:
‘The water saw its master and blushed.’
What it implies is the simple fact that creative and innovative ways of expressing our emotions bears the charm which is not possible otherwise. However, to become creative in expression, especially in writing is not an easy job. It calls for strict mental discipline to feel the subtle waves of heavenly ecstasy using particular words and dovetailing and interweaving them with the emotional fabric to ultimately create what we may call a seemingly magical effect on the minds of the readers. In the absence of mental tranquillity and thinking insulation it is not possible to create a piece of writing which may be termed as creative writing.
In this age of information technology, the art of creative writing caters not only to the mental thirst and spiritual vacuum but also provides an attractive platform for lucrative career options to lead a bright professional life.
Shree Prakash Sharma holds a post-graduate degree in Economics and a B Ed degree. He has been working as a Post-Graduate Teacher of Economics at the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Birauli, Bihar, for the last fourteen years. He writes for a number of magazines in English and Hindi as a freelancer on motivational and socio-familial themes.