Tuesday, November 25, 2008
My fingertips are stained purple and red from experimenting with alcohol inks. Turquoise paint from redoing the hall bath rims my fingernails. My dining table is covered with newspapers, the inks and paint, brushes, and the glass bowl that I've ink painted a glowing transparent plum color. Creativity is messy.
Writing used to be messy. Think of wastebaskets overflowing with balled-up papers, the ink-stained fingers of authors, the splurts of fountain pens on manuscripts and desks. Now writing is cleaner, no correction fluid to drip white dots on my hands,no flowing ink, not even typewriter ribbons to change. I can type and backspace, delete, change wording, correct spelling, play with fonts and colors. My hands and desk stay clean.
I wonder though if these tidy words marching across the page between clean margins are not misleading. The words are not actually perfect. They may not look it, but they are smeared, misshapen, blemished. They need polishing, crossing out, moved around. And I realize that writing is still a messy process - even if my hands aren't usually ink stained.
Lauri Griffin is a published short story writer who is currently revising some longer works. She holds degrees in educational psychology and gifted education, and is the instructional coordinator for a a literacy program. Lauri is fascinated by the many different ways our brains learn, and by the creative process. Visit Lauri's Reflections, for more thoughts on creativity, writing, lifelong learning, and parenting.