It’s Not the Journey, It’s the Destination…wait that’s not it.

We, and by we I mean HIM because if I had done it the house would probably need to be torn down, recently hung a big, old-timey-lookin’ chalkboard in our kitchen.  Last night I watched our kids draw for ages, totally unselfconsciously.  People, trains, animals, forests, I believe I saw a surfer being eaten by a shark at one point, but never mind.

What is the exact moment that children lose that unselfconsciousness about creative expression?  And how the hell can we get it back?

I am not aware of consciously thinking it, but I know for certain that when I read some books or essays or see some movies or look at particular photographs or paintings or mosaics or watch some tv shows (hello, The Wire, I’m looking at you), some part of my internal critic says, “Well, you’re never going to be able to do that, so why bother.”  There are those totally amazing creative enterprises that blow your doors off and make you want to try and inspire you.  And then there are those than just shut you right down because, screw it.  Or maybe they’re the same and it just depends on who you are at the time you experience them.

Keri Hulme’s The Bone People

REM’s NightSwimming

the aforementioned The Wire

Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window

a perfect creme brulee

White Christmas sung by Bing Crosby

to name a few.






  1. RuthWells says:

    Perfect creme brulee is perfectly attainable. The keys are a very fine sieve and a plumber’s blowtorch (not one of those wimpy Williams-Sonoma torches).

  2. kate says:

    love your list! I am in total agreement, particularly with The Wire. I don’t feel compelled to try to create art like that, however.
    kate recently posted..Christmas Loot

  3. Kathy says:

    You had me with “torn down”

  4. Oh when you get this figured out, please let me know. I have been agonizing for years on why I am not creative, which leads to feelings of self loathing and general angst. You would think those depressing feelings would bring on all the artistic expression but it doesn’t.
    Cecelia Winesap recently posted..I Want to Talk to You, Come Here

  5. Tracey says:

    Read Window. Favorite movie ever.
    Creativity is so often silenced by self doubt. And doesn’t that just suck big hairy ones.

    Nice to see you’re back.
    Tracey recently posted..why the postman should always ring twice

  6. John says:

    I’ve been REALLY into The Walking Dead, so I’m thinking about going back to The Wire because I fear I’ve forgotten what a perfectly executed television show is.

    I think there’s a real element of “I’m just doing” that kids have, so they do – before they can think that others will look at & judge what they have done.
    John recently posted..Where I detail a failed smoothie

  7. Pamela says:

    I know that the more time I spend in my creative space, surrounded by the tools I use, the more creative I am able to be. And the amount of time I spend in white-bread, internetty, TV land, the less I am able to accomplish.

    Creativity is pasteurized right out of children. In too large classes, every time someone tells them to color the sky blue, with every hour they spend glued to the Magic Picture Box.
    Pamela recently posted..some items for your consideration

  8. Tami says:

    Kudos to your parenting! I was just at a restaurant and saw a family with four kids under 12. Each one had an electronic device in their hands the whole time. They were quiet, but I kept thinking what happened to bringing paper and crayons to keep them occupied? It just seemed very sad!

  9. Emily says:

    Read this:

    My favorite? The part we he reminds us that “that story isnt going to unfuck itself” but there are so many gems in here I cant begin to list…
    Emily recently posted..The Guide

  10. eliza says:

    I think there’s something the matter with you-all’s definition of creativity. You don’t have to MAKE something to be creative;
    just try to THINK. I always used to tell my kids to have a new
    idea every day, big or small. I hope they still do it; I do.

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