Monday, February 02, 2009

Thoughts on Sarah and creativity

Many of you who have read my blog for years know that I have been tracking Sarah's writing and drawing projects. In the beginning I scanned a lot of her pictures and small stories into the blog and had fun interpreting what she was drawing and writing.

And then came our voyage through the Harry Potter books. We read, reread, discussed, and examined a lot of the seven-book story. And Sarah convinced herself that she wanted to be a writer. (There was the brief time when she wanted to be a writer/film director . . . but the film part of it has died down some when her friends weren't able to completely commit themselves to being actors in a film that she had no script for and no serious equipment to film this potential film on.)

But she still spends much of her leisure time writing and drawing stories and I love that.

But, there is something that I wish she would NOT do . . . understanding as I do that she is still very young and is likely to grow out of this.

She is a story chameleon.

Whatever book or author she is currently reading is the story that she emulates . . . and this emulation is complete. (For example, right now, she is filming a small video about making cakes and she drew a picture of her future wedding cake . . . because we spent a while down in the basement watching a wedding cake competition on Food Network.)

So, after we read through the Harry Potter books twice, she wrote stories about Harry & Co., featuring magic, Hogwarts, and all of that. After we finished reading The Westing Game, she wrote a story about the murder of a man named John Westing. And as she is reading The Goose Girl, she drew a map of a two kingdom countryside with a forest in between. I am sure that if we were reading The Wizard of Oz, she would be drawing flying monkeys and tornadoes in the Great Plains. If we read The Lord of the Rings, I can expect to see lots of hobbits, dwarves, and golden jewelry.

Another thing that I wish she would not do is abandon one thing for the next, newest author that she is reading. For example, the story about the murder of John Westing absorbed her thoughts and time for about three days. She wrote it on one of her blogs and had already written about three and a half chapters. But I found out the other day that she had stopped working on it and (even worse) had deleted the entire draft, without anyone reading the partially finished work.

I understand that she is absorbing ideas. I just hope she starts to show her own particular spin on these ideas into new, original creations that can carry on with their own life once the covers of the book are closed.

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