Finding ideas for writing and getting creative: The Write Channel Creative Writing Course

Women And Men

The Bostonians are marching. They are all calling out to me. Lowell, Sexton, Plath, with their psychoanalysis. Mummy was cold and elegant. A sophisticated Christian woman who sang ‘Om Shanti’ when she did her housework. In my house there was always the preparation for upheaval. Eventually something of staggeringly brilliant proportions was going to happen to me and it was either going to be motherhood when I was barely out of high school, psychoanalysis or turning inwards with a desire and hunger to write had been prescribed to me. Women must always be sacrificing but female writers more so since we’re more predisposed to hysteria, trauma, becoming emotional wrecks, manic depressives, and detached. Displaced when losing touch with reality. Institutionalized if we are. Female poets, writers make the best case studies. If ever they experienced trauma, a first-hand knowledge of depression, an absent parent then becoming nurturing themselves as adults themselves becomes very attractive to them. To these poets, writers all men know of the world is the ego. Men, women both have their roles to play in contributing to society in all fields. We all have something to hide though. That goes beyond illness, attachments, talent or skin colour.

Bessie Head

I think that there is a David Foster Wallace in every generation. But this story isn’t about Wallace it’s about Bessie Head. He was the pale king sitting on an earth-throne. The so-called depressive bewitched by libraries. By the halls of Amherst, the Midwest. His dream songs were not so different from Bessie Head’s. He gripped his pen. Left behind an alphabet of vowels and consonants, scribbling, scribbling, scribbling supernova champagne writing. But there were monsters hiding in the closet. Monsters under the bed. Perhaps the room is smaller than he remembered when he returned home from Amherst. Water and lobsters pouring out of him as he evaporates. America offers shelter for some. Worms, holes, the dark, maniacs but already the hooks had tightened themselves into his sparse interiors of his self-consciousness programming him. Depression is a laughing carcass. It makes fools of us all. Renders the intelligent inferior to his contemporaries. You will be called mad. And life will become your sworn enemy. Life as you knew it will be turned upside down. It will be a hellish terrain for you to figure out until therapy, psychoanalysis will bring you back to the familiar, recognition, back to your senses.

All Is Not Well

Water has become like my own alcohol flask while I bask in dreams of writing poetry. Men are almost glorified when they say they’ve had problems with alcoholism. It ruins women for life. Their reputation, their attractiveness (they are no longer visions of loveliness worthy of pursuit). Hallucinatory illness, psychosis, threads always communicating with each other as if I am not there. I’m eavesdropping on the conversation. Don’t talk to me about tortured souls, the ones who never made it, who were transformed, lived it, survived it. The atlas of their brains. Limbs asylum pieces. Every one possessed, awakened by ritual. Don’t talk to me about the loneliness or the Johannesburg people as if it is supposed to mean everything to me? What terrible dreams I have of my childhood home, of that ghost house, of insomnia? Behind the looking glass is my reflection waiting for the apparitions of my mind. The cornfields of Illinois are pretty where David Foster Wallace grew up. Bonfire anecdotes made up his childhood. Shark teeth. I thought men would save me once they arrived. But they didn’t. I waited but love never showed up to meet me. Maybe I didn’t make myself clear enough.

Virginia Woolf In The Flesh

These surroundings have become my country, my environment, and this hospital too. People, events, keys that unlock spirituality splendidly will grow in this silence, in this arena to compensate for the fact that leaves will fall and flowers, even nasturtiums, jasmine, lavender, yesterday, today and tomorrow will die. Family-life does not and will never suit me. Tell me am I the lotus flower? I grow in mud. Roots knotted in mud. My dendrites need tasks, to dare, inspiration to wake up. Nerves like uncommon butterflies. Serotonin. Happy-go-lucky smoke. But they are just images like a frame frozen in time in a photograph. I’m a child forever. Happy faces of happy people with angelic-childlike faces in a happy family. I write what I like. Africa is a country. And if mental illness and sexuality is also a part of that country then what is to stop me from writing a story about Virginia Woolf in sickness and in health and most of all in love. In love with another woman. I’m back. I’ve made a full recovery from being condemned to inferiority. They’ve said the qualities of ghosts no longer frighten me senseless like needles and nurses. Both suck big time.

Assia Wevill The Paper Tiger Empress

Rain has given quite a performance today. Leaves the property of trees drowned. The phoenix found the exit out. Winter’s gospel, the school teacher who shouted at me became an offering to a museum. These are the memories of my youth. Having relationships with older men, much more sexually experienced than naive, young, inexperienced me. And so the year of 2014 rolled into The Great Depression. So with life drawings at my fingertips. I found loyalty in Rilke, and Hemingway’s characters. My fingers melting across the wilted pages of books. They are uninterrupted. I am uninterrupted in this. This damaged inner silence, this filtered cycle of illness that has not yet found the exit out. There is planting, planning, fingers, fists clenching and unclenching a poem. Hands tightening, there are no more poems for mummy. Like Noah’s ark, they are autumn, going off to wars in Africa. But the human voices that I hear bring me tulips. I have see tigers with my all-seeing-eyes. Sunlight like a swan. Where do I live? It is dark, rotting driftwood, gravity is rough. All can be found there concentrated. These surroundings have become my country, this hospital too. I must talk about love.

Crazy-Fast First Drafts

When writing a novel, you can choose to write it perfectly the first time – spending years on the process – or you can write it quickly and get it done. Are you Georges Simenon or Gustave Flaubert? Do you want it perfect, or do you want it done?

You Are Going to Do Bad Things to Children

The first time I slept with a man it was tantamount to rape. But I never told this to anyone. Men were rough creatures and that is a simple truth, not gentle, not nurturing, and not giving, oh they were gentle and nurturing enough and giving to their children, to the light of their world but not to the unseen. I always thought of violence as being something external, something outside of myself not something that I would have to live with, that would enter me, something that I would have to accept if I wanted to have the most serious love of my life in my life. The goal is to get married. The goal is to get married. Live happily ever after. I am losing my allure. One day, one terrible day I know he will leave me for someone else. I write to my sister because I cannot take any of this anymore. The isolation and the fact that everyone thinks I am an interloper. Sylvia was not a martyr. Plath’s Ted is not the villain as he is made out to be. Women cannot leave him alone. They want to be around him all the time.

Young Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

The journal entry reads. ‘It is early days yet. I need proof. Will a village life be enough for us? I am planting the unsaid. The earth is fertile for the unsaid. There is no childhood for me anymore. Tell me a story Ted Hughes. Write me a poem. I’ll watch you while you sleep, while you work. Smile. We are not just a marriage of two like-minded individuals but a union of two souls. I cannot change what does not move me, what I do not desire, what I do not need. I am your apprentice and you are the master of this household who lifts the veil of my great loneliness, my attractive mask, my costume. I know that you think of my image as sensual. I cannot give that up. I too have a place in this world. Pull up a chair and sit at my kitchen table and eat. Eat this German Jewess’s food, her recipe for seeds, stems and shoots and wings and things. Eat my chicken. Drink from the glass of water I bring you now. I feel useful. If you want me to peel the potatoes then I will peel the potatoes.’

The Unquiet Mind of the Tortured Poet

The shock of suicide and depression is often met with silence. It has always had a complex history amongst writers, the brightest voices of the generation. This body, just the minority of it is infuriatingly torn between self-pity and the wounded heart. Nature’s multiplicity. So if suicide is met with silence then what is the chronic fatigue met with? Cultural identity and the tribal folklore in any nation says it is an unremarkable taboo that is fostered since birth, illustrated in the behaviors of the suffering of those closest to us, those most vulnerable of vulnerables. We’re devoted ourselves to health. Illness has been translated into the language of rejection and isolation. Suicide and depression, the sickness of our time is undiminished by time. We live in an information-age. What has happened to humanity that we cannot embrace suffering. Loss is felt so acutely. The loss of possessions but the loss of life, that pattern, we give it up as if their is no connection. It leaves me feeling quite helpless.

A Writer

This is an article about some of the challenges faced by writers. Emotional challenges and creative challenges. A writer understands how difficult writing can be. We all have those challenges in common. I just decided to write about it.

Comparison in Creativity

There is an enormous amount of courage that it takes to create a piece of art, peeling back the layers of ourselves and leaving them exposed to the world. Creating is the vehicle by which so many step out of the shadows, casting off their shroud of “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do this”, to stand boldly, owning who they are and what they have brought into reality.

Creating With Expectations

Whether we write, paint, dance, cook, photograph, or sculpt, there might be anger or disappointment attached to not living up to our expectations. Sometimes this can lead to rigidity, which for many artists is like putting a kink in the garden hose. Too many rules, too many expectations of everything being great every time, causes the inner critic to take the throne, stifling the Muse.

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