27 November 2012

The creative process

Last week I was designing a workshop for the Pacific International Academy faculty about outcomes-based course design and noticed a similarity between the creative writing process and the process of designing a learning experience. There is this torturous initial period of groping and fumbling and bumping into walls, searching for a chink or an opening to get through to The Place Where It Clicks. Once I get there, once I find that opening, it flows and is fun and I lose track of time. But until then, five minutes can drag on for a seeming eternity.

It reminds me, in fact, of a scene from the movie Labyrinth (which happens to be my favorite movie of all time and which I have seen an obscene number of times).

Sarah has just entered the labyrinth and is confronted with a long passage that goes on as far as the eye can see. At first she walks and then starts to run down this passage. But after a while she gives up, exhausted and frustrated because it seems that, as she says, "There aren't any turns or any openings or anything! It just goes on and on!"

Luckily for her, a little worm shows her how to see the passage differently and it suddenly "clicks" for her and her adventure starts to "flow."

"Things are not always what they seem in this place."

Sarah will still encounter challenges as she makes her way through the labyrinth, but from that moment on she never gets stuck like she was in the beginning.

So my creative process is a lot like that: exhausting myself trying to find that different way of seeing or that magic key that will make everything click into place. Except in my case there's no friendly little worm to show me the way. I have to figure it out for myself.

1 comment:

  1. Can you believe I just saw Labrynith for the first time about a year ago? Loved it!

    I am hopeless when it comes to movies!