Sometimes photographers don’t get enough credit for their creativity because they don’t literally draw or paint their work. They use real life. Credit is then given to the camera or the subject. But, good photography is born from the vision of a creative person. A camera is the tool they use. 100 photographers can take a photo of the same landscape, but each one can use their vision to capture something different. A different emotion, angle, and focus. The nonfiction writer is doing the same. We take real life events and experiences and capture meaning and atmosphere with our own tools: words. 100 nonfiction writers can write about the same subject, but each one can use their vision to capture a different emotion, angle, and focus. I realize that not everyone who takes a photograph cares about vision. And not everyone who writes in this genre cares about creativity.
But, for those of us that do, what I’m saying here matters. Having appreciation and respect for the craft can make the difference between the writer who keeps showing up and the one who quits one day because they don’t see the point anymore. Well, there is a point. Real life moves fast. It’s worth documenting. And not just by one narrow viewpoint. If you treat nonfiction writing like a craft, like a skill worth honing, and let your vision be a part of it, then you will be creating something. e
I’m not saying that if you’re a creative and a parent, then get rid of your kids ’cause they’re crampin’ your artsy crafty style. I’m saying that for me, kids and continuous creation didn’t mix – artist and mother are two different roles that I have no interest in combining. I’m grateful for both roles, but I get the most out of them when I separate them. When I dedicate a set time to my children and a separate set time for creating.
This is an important realization for me because, like many moms, I’ve been conditioned to believe that if I’m not spending and enjoying! every minute with my kids then I’m falling short somehow. Which is nonsense.
So, let the UN-conditioning begin. I’m re-conditioning myself to believe – without guilt – that my children don’t need me all the time. When I think about my own father and the life he lived, and everything he created with his talents, I remember that I had someone very talented to look up to. If I never give myself the time and space I need to use my talents, then I won’t be giving my children the same example my father gave me.
So, if you’re a parent, and you decide to take on this continuous creation challenge, don’t feel guilty about seeking out your support system so you get the space you need to create.