How a creative mind works

When the music teacher came into our third or fourth grade class and gave us small plastic recorders to try out for ourselves to motivate us to think about learning to play an instrument, I yawned. I didn’t care much for the tinny sound. I gave the recorder and any other instrument for that matter a hard pass. I didn’t need something else to learn. Many of my friends, though, jumped at the chance, one signed up to learn to play the trombone, another to play the clarinet.

A few years later, I started watching my friends play entire songs and wished that I had learned to play the piano. What I wanted to learn was how they built one note after another, turning the odd sounds into something worth listening to and enjoying.

Image by Pexels.

My friends has learned that they could create something from nothing. For my friends, it was music. For my father, it was making one cut after another into a block of wood until it became something of beauty. I never learned to play an instrument or to carve wood like my father.

For me, though, I learned that I could write.

I write about how I watched my father first carve wood and how I couldn’t carve like him, but I could create feelings and emotions just like him on paper in my new post, Carving out my place in the world, on The Heart of The Matter.

In the piece, I explain that I’ve learned a ton about writing over the years — thanks to Higher Education and lots of trial and error — but I still go about it the same way, like completing a giant puzzle board. I fit a piece here, fit a piece there until I look down and have a story full of imagery and context.

Check out my post on HoTM. How does creativity work for you? Where are you the most creative?

Related Story:

Carving out my place in the world

The Heart of The Matter

27 thoughts on “How a creative mind works

Add yours

  1. Excellent writing! Thank you for sharing your piece.

    FYI, have you considered playing the ocarina? Some of them have dramatically more range and potential than the recorder.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny how the mind works. You write that and I’m like go for it Erin, you can do it, you’re never too old. I write the same exact words and all I can think about are the cobwebs in my brain and how hard it will be to learn and get my fingers and brain to work in combination together. Ha, ha, funny how are brains work. I’ll make you a deal, you take up the piano then, maybe, maybe, maybe, I’ll take it up too. Ha, ha.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My dad at 90 started ukulele lessons, so it’s never to late to learn music if you have a desire. My nephew who turned 37 this year, learned piano during the shutdowns. At our gathering to remember Mom, he played two of her favorite pieces, Moonlight Sonata and Fur Elise. I was impressed!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I love that your dad learned ukulele at 90! My 91-year-old grandma just started drum lessons recently, and it makes me so happy that she’s keeping her mind sharp and having fun.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Oh, I love that EA. 90!!!! You’re absolutely right, it’s never too late. But like I just wrote Erin, I worry about the cobwebs in my brain and fingers not working together. This is coming from a writer by the way who is grateful for the desktop computer or lap, in nothing more, it meant that I could backspace and not waste ink on a typewriter with all my misspellings. Imagine those same fingers trying to find a piano key. Uh-oh, that would sound really awful! 🙂 🙂 😦

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I totally understand. I never could get both hands to work together at the piano — even in third grade. I’ll never forget my first IBM Selectric typewriter at work with the ball that bounced around and the ability to correct!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I used to laugh at my kids. They would watch me type something fast on the computer and laptop and think I was a fast typist. I’m not. I’m just fixing everything. Ha. ha. And yes, the IBM selectric typewriter was a Godsend. I would’ve been lost without it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. As a kid, I wanted ballet and piano lessons, but it was a no go. I’m not sure if ye olde body would care to take up ballet at my age (there are days when it’s a challenge to get just get myself out of a chair!) but the fingers still work pretty well, if I were so inclined to go for piano. Alas, the inclination went the way of the desire for ballet lessons!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Recorder should be banned from existence! 😆 All jokes aside, I’m very thankful for schools that allow students the opportunity to explore the arts, be it visual arts, creative writing, drama, music, etc. It really helps kids grow up to be more well rounded and yes, creative.

    Glad that writing was an outlet for you, Brian!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh you’re so right Ab. I should’ve thought of that before making my sarcastic comment. So many kids nowadays don’t have that benefit. I, at least, was given the option. Art, drama, music are so needed. I love sports, but it is frustrating that we always seem to find $$$ for that, but the arts go lacking! Without writing, I’m not sure what would’ve happened to me! Ha ha


  5. I tried all sorts of things, but I shied away from writing because I was a lousy speller! I tried piano, drawing, and painting. But the words kept calling me! And I kept responding. I love writing. Thank God for spell check! Hugs, C

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I gotta write this one down: “Learning and creating, at any age, are the building blocks of joy.” So true. I’ve been doing some looking back and evaluating. When I’ve had a chance to focus on learning and improving, I’ve been so much happier in my life. It really does describe life. And thank you for the nice words. I’ve definitely been posting more this year. It’s just been fun to put the posts out there and see what comes back. Some times a post will hit home and resonate with others, sometimes it doesn’t, but the creative process has been a ton of fun. Thanks for the feedback – much appreciated.


Leave a Reply to InspiritedLouis Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Website Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: