Join me on my quest to kickstart my creativity

 In All About Writing

One of my earliest memories is spending hours at the dining room table, folding pieces of A4 paper in half, hamburger-style, and turning them into small books that I wrote and illustrated, complete with a blurb and about-the-author. I’ve been a writer since birth, or near enough.

I joined one of All About Writing’s Creative Writing Courses in Cape Town during my gap year in 2017. I loved it so much that I became a passionate member of the team, doing invisible but crucial behind-the-scenes work with Trish. All the while, I’ve kept on writing.

Some of my proudest writerly achievements are the feature articles I write for South African children’s magazine Supernova, and the poem I had published this year in Living While Feminist. I’ve been working on my debut novella since 2017.

I’m a student at the University of Cape Town, doing my BA in English Literature and Anthropology. I also do freelance writing work. So, whether in an academic capacity or a work capacity, most of my days are spent on the page. It’s a wonderful place to be in many ways, but I miss the freedom of personal creative work, and the restorative effect it has on my soul. Plus, I’ve been promising myself for years that *this* year I’ll finish my novella – and it hasn’t happened yet!

I really want to get back into writing for myself. All the trauma around covid and lockdown hit my creativity hard, but I know from past experience that even when I don’t feel like it, writing helps me feel better. As one of my favourite creative teachers, Julia Cameron, puts it:

“Writing is a way not only to metabolize life but to alchemize it as well. It is a way to transform what happens to us into our own experience. It is a way to move from passive to active. We may still be the victims of circumstances, but by our understanding these circumstances we place events within the ongoing context of our own life, that is, the life we ‘own’. […] When we write about our lives we respond to them. As we respond to them we are rendered more fluid, more centered, more agile on our own behalf. We are rendered conscious.”

I’ve decided to work my way through one of All About Writing’s creative writing coaching programmes, The Logic of Story. It’s perfect for me because it focuses on building a daily writing habit but only takes half an hour to an hour a day. This means I can easily fit it into my busy schedule alongside my work and studies. I’ll be sharing my experience and progress on the All About Writing Instagram every day from 21 September. Follow along and reconnect with your own creative spirit!

I’m so excited – and nervous – and would hate to walk this journey alone! If you want to join me, sign up for the Logic of Story programme here.

Aimee-Claire Smith lives in Cape Town, where she is studying English Literature and working on her first novel. She likes coffee and cats. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram: @aiimeeclaiire

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