Do you ever get the feeling of not being able to think creatively? I think everyone does. For me, I typically write only when I’m inspired, though I did manage to force myself to finish a novel back in 2010 for my honors thesis as an undergrad in UC Riverside.
Two years later, here I am as a senior copywriter working in online advertising/media. Building landing pages based on templates and stock photos, using best practice for them, I feel that this kind of “creative work” isn’t as creative as I feel it should be.
I used to write poetry. Got published in some. But sadly, I have not written a verse for more than a year. The image of a Korean woman at a local 99 cents store still lingers in my mind, waiting to be written. She was smoking outside her Ford pickup, as I recall, with the door open. She then tossed the stub into a quarter-empty Oceanspray bottle and drove off.
The bottle with the cigarette stub rolled to my feet, like a message in a bottle you’d find at the beach, a mother’s cry to a merciless ocean refusing to listen. This event happened more than two years ago, just after I had graduated. Strange, how emotion is carried over to another through an image, a potent force stored inside a story.
We all have our stories. Lately, after talking to friends and reading The Writer’s Journey, I’ve been realizing my task as a writer/poet parallels the role of priest/healer. Someone who picks up these messages in bottles, uncorks them and retells these stories to a world distracted from all sides. Listening to the inner voice is a challenge.