I was asked this question yesterday. I had the opportunity to answer in several ways. But the more I thought about it, the more I had to ask myself, what does creative writing mean to me? The following is my response to that question.
I think creative writing is all about fun and imagination. Do you remember being younger, when everything you saw was potentially a toy? A stick could become a sword, some overgrown bushes would change into a forest, a rock could become a grenade…there were no limits on what you could do.
I remember a time when we were out camping. I was with some friends and we were walking through a river bottom looking for something to do. I don’t remember the particulars of how it started, but soon the three of us were transported overseas into a war zone. We were fighting our way down the gully trying to get to the extraction point. We had M-16 rifles, grenades, jets were flying overhead, bombs going off, bullets were ripping past us and ricocheting off rocks…it was the real deal. We would hunker down behind rock piles checking our ammo and trying to take a breather before the next wave of enemies came looking for us.
I don’t recall how it ended, or how long we spent fighting for our lives, but somehow we made it out alive. Walking out of the riverbed, we passed through the invisible barrier between life reality and imagination. Our clothes changed, our weapons turned to sticks, the sounds of war faded into the background.
Creative writing is toeing the line between reality and imagination. In one hand you have a stick. But if you put that stick into your other hand, it changes into an M-16 rifle, a magic wand, or maybe a key to open a locked door. In your imagination…there are no limits.