Reflections on Literary Creativity

November 30, 2011 | By | 25 Replies More

Vacen Taylor, Australian Writer

I can’t recall the exact day I started writing.

For that matter I can’t remember the exact day I took my first meaningful photograph.

What can I tell you? Writing and photography filled a deep hole that seemed to be growing inside me a long time ago.

I could have put it down to a phase I was going through — you know, the rhythm of life, or as some experts call it; the course of life through the biological, psychological and spiritual. But from wherever it came, writing and photography helped breathe life into a dying soul. The creativity helped me feel whole and happy again. I’m not sure if every woman my age goes through something like this, but in that time of my life I had been through a lot. It was time for me to nurture my soul.

I’ve lived a very full and varied life, and as I edge closer to fifty I’d like to think I understand a bit about living, people and the world at large. I haven’t been sheltered, quite the opposite; I’ve experienced the good, the bad and the very ugly side of human nature — this has been part of my journey. Sometimes I use my own experiences to build on a scene or intensify a character. I enjoy getting into the mind of my characters, and I’m still learning how to do this successfully. With my piece Deadhorse the story was as much about experiencing something unexplained as it was a man’s mental reflection on the cusp of death.  It took a great deal of thought and creativity.

Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting.
Edward de Bono

He’s a smart man, Edward de Bono. I often hear people say, ‘Oh, I’m not creative’ or ‘I don’t have an imagination’. Sometimes I can really dislike the words not and don’t, because I’m the kind of person who rejects that doubt. Why? Because creativity comes in many different forms from writing to sculpture, knitting to needlepoint, music to debating, and all the different creative arts in the middle. It’s all about allowing the creative energy to be around you and finding what craft fits your creativity.

I have never wanted to nor aimed to write a literary masterpiece. But to write something worthy? In my opinion that’s another thing entirely.

Writing is a personal journey with individual motivations encouraging a person to write. I believe that being literary minded can mean lots of different things. It can refer to a reader, a student or teacher of English or an author, all who have one thing in common, a passion for the written word. I enjoy writing in different genres, be it life fiction, horror, sci-fi or fantasy. I like to mix it up. I love to engage in everything, to explore, learn and grow.

For me personally, writing and photography come from the same creative energy. While I still regard myself as an emerging writer and amateur photographer it doesn’t stop me from enjoying the beauty of being in the moment while taking a particular photo, or writing an imaginative story.  You see, I believe it’s all about walking through life, being, absorbing and feeling all that is given to you creatively.

Embracing my creative inspiration has allowed me to write stories and poetry, paint and take beautiful photos. This literary mind appreciates creative inspiration, and willingly accepts it from either a stunning photo with depth and beauty, or pictures that flourish in my mind, pestering me to write the narrative and give them a voice.

Someone once told me; it’s a long road to recognition as a writer. And whilst I don’t disagree, I think it depends on what you’re looking to achieve by writing. I think writing is a bit like sailing or riding a horse — with a little instruction and some practice it’s not too difficult. Now here’s the but. Like in sailing or riding horses, for some of us, it can take a lifetime to master the skill. However, that’s if you’re looking for acclaim and recognition or to be a competitor in the field.  I don’t believe every writer is searching for that.

That’s not why I write. I write because I love to be in what I call ‘the creative matrix’, some call it ‘the writing zone’ others call it ‘bloody frustrating’ (excuse my Australian expletive intensifier). I hope I will always write with passion, creativity and energy, but not because I want to be recognised.  I simply want to take photos and write stories that are worthy to be enjoyed.

I’ll leave you with a quote from a master writer:

‘Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe.’

Stephen King

Follow Vacen on Twitter @VacenTaylor

My website is coming soon.


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Category: Australian Women Writers, Contemporary Women Writers, On Writing

Comments (25)

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  1. My mind also overflows with all the creative juices trapped inside. I write, not just because I love to but because I need to. Photography is a need as much as sketching and creating art and jewelry out of glass. It all not only makes me happy… it calms me. I am so happy for you that you are able to use your talents in such a wonderful way. I’m glad they make you happy 🙂


    Patricia Carrigan
    Author, Antiserum

    • Thanks sharing your thoughts, Patrica. ~hugs~ You’re absolutely blessed to be able to do what you love. Embracing our creative inspiration is an amazing way to make us happy. I would like to encourage more women to include this practice in their life. It’s so worth it.


      Vacen T

  2. Trish Anders says:

    Interesting words, Vacen. I agree with all of them. I think some people confuse being creative with being able to produce a great piece of art or a book. They don’t seem to realise that being creative is the whole process of creating something not the end product or that the end product has value whether its destiny is to be hung in a gallery, published by the thousand, or just stuck on someone’s frig with a magnet.

    I am a writer. I always have been and I always will. I may never publish a single novel yet I will still be a writer. The written word energises my creative flow. Writing about something (anything) makes me feel better. Giving creativity the freedom it needs, and acknowledging it, gives me the freedom I need.

    Thank you for sharing your creativity with me.

    • Trish, you make everything I’ve said worthwhile. I love that. If I could reach out and give you a hug I would. The word you added to make everything complete was…freedom. That is the addition I have been waiting to read. Allowing yourself the freedom to be there in the creative matrix. Thank you. 🙂

    • Hi Trish, sorry for such a late reply. Yes, creativity is an amazing process, and it can be a very freeing process also. If a person gives themselves totally to the experience of creation amazing things can be achieved. Even just spending time with my children when they were young sticking different textures onto paper, making collages, and painting (nothing all that recognizable) but it was and always will be a beautiful time and place to remember. Why? Because we allowed ourselves to be in the creative matrix. It was always about the whole process of creativity and not the end result. I’m pleased you enjoy the freedom that comes with your creativity. I’m even more pleased that you acknowledge it. :))

  3. Hi Vacen,
    Fabulous piece of reflective writing on your journey so far.
    Enjoyed reading your inspiring quotes from my heroes, Stephen King and de Bono.

    • Thanks Karen. 🙂 You know I think you’re awesome for all the work you do helping other authors. Like I said below,I believe people are pulled together by creative energy, and for that I’m truly grateful. Thank you for your kind words and support. ~big hug~

  4. Gina says:

    Wow. Well said Vacen! Even your explanation of why you chose to explore your creative side and journey down the path of the writer (and photographer) came out beautifully. A true writer whether recognized in the classic sense or not is gifted with the ability to pull its audience in and give life to the written word…you my friend (in my opinion) have that gift. Thank you for sharing!

    • Gina, you know you are my favourite, (I’m using some of your Twitter bio because your words say it best) “book reviewer, reading addiction enabler, all around lover of the written word” so your comment means a lot to me. ~big hug~ I believe people are pulled together by creative energy and for that I’m truly grateful. You are awesome! 🙂

  5. Holly Helscher says:

    Thank you so much for the lovely article. I find that when I write and am working through, and with the “creative matrix” every other area of my life goes better. When that happens, I have boundless energy, including for the things I absolutely detest. Thanks, again.

    • Holly, I’m pleased you recognize the energy of creativity. I think when we are enjoying our time in the matrix everything around us improves. Writing has been known to be therapeutic for centuries, and so has pottery, painting, photography and the list goes on. That’s why I think it’s important for people to explore their creative side. Holly, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I really appreciate it. 🙂

  6. LaVa Payne says:

    First, I want to thank you for inviting me to this blog. It has a vast amount of information and love for the creative arts. That is a blessing. Secondly, I think everyone has a creative spark within as well. However, most people that say “they have no creative ability” are not looking inside deep enough. So, I agree that most people are creative in some way or another. But most important of all, as you mentioned, is that writing involves being “in the creative matrix.” And like any other matrix, it entails love of an idea, internal release, and outward expression. All hail the creative arts!

    • It’s been my pleasure to guide you here. You know my feelings about your work … awesome, awesome, and awesome! You are one of the most talented writers I know. My fascination with horror perhaps links us, but it’s also because we are women who enjoy being creative. I’m forever grateful we met at DHG. 🙂

  7. Karin says:

    I have also had plenty of people tell me they’re not creative over the years, but I think everybody has a spark of creativity in them somewhere—even if it seems latent. Thanks for sharing this, Vacen. Cheers Karin

    • Hi Karin, you said it so beautifully,”I think everybody has a spark of creativity in them somewhere—even if it seems latent.” Yes, I agree with you. Creativity is not always obvious, but the spark is present in everyone. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words and thoughts. 🙂

  8. Eri Nelson says:

    Thank you for referring me to your guest post. You are most inspiring! I have enjoyed diving deeper into knowing you better.

    Best Wishes

  9. Janne says:

    Hi Vacen,thank you for referring me to your article above it is always inspiring to me when I get to witness another’s creative expression, photo’s and writing go so well together you have mastered your skills beautifully 🙂

    • Janne, thank you for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it. So many writers I know are richly talented, some paint, some dabble in photography while others love sculpture and pottery. When we get together and talk about our experiences in the creative matrix we all learn from each other. The words and phrases used by my fellow writers to express their experiences are always inspiring. It’s those words in these moments that connects us all together. I hope anyone with the inclination to try something creative ignores the voice that tells them they’re not creative. Not only can creativity bring joy, achievement, and motivation to a person, but it can also connect individuals to the most amazing and inspiring people.

  10. Hi Gill 🙂 Yes, I hear it all the time. People say to me, ‘Oh, I’m not creative.’ I always object to that doubt. Sometimes it’s as little as attending a few workshops in an area of interest. A little knowledge can bring out a person’s creativity. I also think supporting each other is another important strategy in helping the growth of creativity. Thank you so much for your comment. ~big hug~ 🙂

  11. Thank you, Janece. ~big hug~ You know me so well. I am the kind of person, as you know, who speaks my mind, likes to live in the moment and adores creativity. There’s no room for doubt. I think enjoying what we do creatively,those moments in the matrix, can be very powerful if we allow ourselves to truly commit to those moments. I’m forever grateful for your support. Thank you.

  12. Janece says:

    Wonderful post, Vacen!

    You’re so right…creativity comes in so many different outlets. While I consider myself a writer first and foremost, I also believe that when I cook a yummy meal, or spend time in the garden, or sew, that’s all equally as creative.

    I’m not surprised that you don’t write in just one genre! You have way too much energy and lifeforce to be contained! 🙂

  13. Gill Wyatt says:

    I love this post. I hear people say ‘I’m not creative’ so often and I always tell them they are wrong. I believe we are all creative but many of us take a long time to find a means of expressing our creativity. I agree with you Vacen that creativity takes many forms and we are all at different stages in our journeys but each journey is valid. I love that sentence ‘…all about walking through life, being, absorbing and feeling all that is given to you creatively,’ that expresses it so well.

    • Hi Gill, my reply is above. I’m fighting the flu and at the time I wasn’t wearing my glasses. I just asked Janece does that mean I’m getting old, but I’m sure she knows I’ve turned 21 for the last twenty-five years. ;)Truthfully, I love life too much to think I’m getting old. BTW I loved Heartsease: A Writer’s Vision. 🙂

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