Writing, mess and risk taking

Parenting, Uncategorized



This is a photo of an experiment I did with my big daughter yesterday. We tried making new crayons from all the old crayons around the house and as you can see the results will not make it onto Pinterest.

However, we really learnt something from doing this…not simply that we heated the crayons too quickly and the wax ran out of the moulds. What we found out was that we were risk takers. The kind of people that experiment and find out through trial and error. We weren’t too worried if the crayons didn’t work – though there was an element of disappointment that they were really thin and brittle. (‘What’s brittle mean?’ My daughter asked me ‘Just like this.’ I answered cracking another of our home made crayons out of its shell.)

What we also found out was that in order to make something you have to be prepared for mess, and possible casualties.  I’m resigned to the fact that the biscuit cutters may never be the same…

Today I sat down to work on a short story. It started as a poem and had some lovely lines but no actual narrative. It was brittle. It would certainly crack under close observation. Making it into a story involved making it longer, filling it in with which’s and this’s and small descriptive passages.

I was tidying, after taking the risk and inventing the lines I was cleaning it up and making it something someone might one day want to read. Hell, they might plaster it all over a billboard one day, perhaps written in bright coloured crayon…even though the poem it had been had leaked and run and melted and become brittle, the story (like later versions of the crayon-cakes done in muffin trays with pattypan casings) was much more successful.

That’s another thing about creative mess. It takes creativity to get the mess sorted out. Even then, when it is done a bit of mess in there gives an inkling of how it was created. Perhaps this gives the finished product a bit more interest?


PS The yellow koala turned out quite well.

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