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I used to keep a journal. It was a curation of beautiful things – pictures, quotes, memories and verses from the Bible that I needed reminding of. Some pages were modge-podged together, I remember one even had grains of sand bordering a picture of a beach sunset (I have a lot of those). Quotes written out by hand, maybe embellished with decorative flowers or funky fonts and glossy photos affixed with photo corners. Some pages were works of art while others were messy, with scribbled out lines and some were only the remains of pages that had been ripped out.
Now, we have Instagram and Pinterest. Ready-made inspiration and beauty at our fingertips for a busy society. Inspiration has become a drug – we want it, we want it fast and we want it now. We are spoon-fed beauty from mass produced, squeezy packets – easily consumable, readily replicable.
I would like to suggest however, that we slow things back down – call it a slow beauty movement. Curate treasures over time, make things instead of buying them, prioritise creativity.
That last one – I have trouble doing that. Prioritising creativity. According to the Myers-Briggs personality test, I am an INTJ. I take the test every few years because I am always trying to be a better, kinder and more “easy-breezy” person and sometimes hope that I have matured out of this personality type. Hopefully, without offending the 2% of the population who are INTJ’s (with a very small percentage of those, being women), let me explain.
INTJs by nature, feel like we are continually contradicting ourselves, especially if we are creatives as well. The strategic nature of this personality type seemingly stands at odds with artistic endeavour. The Arts aren’t practical or lucrative, we tell our efficiency-driven minds. So naturally, for all of my adult life I have tried to repress my creativity or turn it into something practical and lucrative, such as being a professional photographer, graphic designer or communications specialist (CV available upon request). I have been fairly successful with this, which is why many say that, in fact, INTJs do really well in the arts or humanities (just look at C.S. Lewis), but it allows no space to create FOR FUN. I think, however, that I have strategized a nice little compromise.
Creativity, ordered. It is for me, as much as it is for you, should you choose to join in. One word a week for 52 weeks. Write 300-1000 words on or around just one word. As a writer I love words. It’s also how I think and strategize. If I am creating a new visual identity for an organization, I have them do an exercise in which they tell me words that describe their company or a way that they want their client to feel as a result of doing business with them, or it could be words that communicate their values. One word can have immense power. The stories we share around particular words, deepen their meaning.
So journey with me. An African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” If you’re like me, you’ll join in and use the word prompts but not tell me you’re doing it or share what you write. Fair enough but I encourage you to follow along. I will try and send out some semi-regular updates via email (sign up via the link…somewhere on this website) and post my efforts here on the blog, which will then be shared via Instagram and Facebook. Feel free to email me what you write. I’d love to read it or maybe you might start a blog of your own – it’s easy. Just Google “How to start a blog” and some more clever (and lucrative) blog than mine will tell you how to do it.
I’m excited! I have some great words lined up. All verbs and some nouns as well – each one with something to help us grow. I hope you have a wonderful 2021 and happy writing.