The Importance of Creative Writing

Ella Beyreis, Contributor

The Importance of Creative Writing

Ella Beyreis ’21, Contributor

In the past, creative writing was a mystery to me. I assumed that one day I would be asked to “creatively” write something and bells would go off in my brain, words would start spilling onto the page, and I would be enlightened with literary powers. I realize now that this sounds insane, but no one ever told me that I didn’t need to be enlightened to write something valuable. I think I didn’t truly understand what creative writing was or how important it is until this summer when I participated in the Young Writers Workshop at John Carroll University in Cleveland. I spent two hours a day sitting on the floor with a pencil and notebook pondering over old memories, world issues, why the smell of coffee holds so much sentimental value, and what it was like to be alive during the French revolution. It didn’t matter what I wrote as long as it was relevant to me.

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I believe creative writing is essential because it encourages the author to make mistakes. At an early age, we learn to avoid this as much as possible to the point where we stop ourselves from trying new things because we fear imperfection. If your standards for your work are unachievable, lower them. Write something with the knowledge that it will be terrible. You can always revise it later and polish your ideas. Once there’s something on the page the words will come more easily. And don’t be afraid to write something stupid. The best story I read that week was started by the author imagining a giant warehouse where all the food served in school cafeterias is made. As long as it matters to you, it’s worth exploring.

You may not know it yet, but you are constantly immersed in creative writing. Your favorite books, of course, are the most obvious example, but did you ever notice that song lyrics count as poetry? Any type of script for a movie, play, or comedy routine is creative writing. Even memes are a good example. And where would we be without memes? Creative writing is the one place where the ludicrous and the philosophical are equally valued as they should be.