You’ve been framed

 I seem to be most creative when I can only devote a small, niggling amount of time to a project or idea. Though my time is consumed with lots of important tasks involving work or family, those small, stolen moments seem to be delightfully fertile. I fear that if I had all the time in the world- large chunks of uninterrupted time- I would freeze up like a block of ice. Perhaps “Art is limitation; the essence of every picture is the frame.”- Chesterton. I can interpret that to mean that constraints can sometimes sharpen vision or start the creative juices flowing.  There are a few web sites out there that host contests to spark creativity through limitations.  Here’s one: The writer has to submit a story told in six sentences. There are examples here of pretty interesting and complex stories using just six sentences.  Apparently there are other contests in the blogosphere where people write their memoirs in six words.  It surprised me to read someof  Dr. Seuss’s books were written in response to  challenges to write a book with specific numbers of words.  So limitations serve to spur the writer on to meet the challenge.

It’s still counter-intuitive to me. Time plus tools plus ideas should result in an explosion of creativity.

 I’ll try some of the six word memoirs:

My father died.  His disapproval didn’t.
The marriage ended. It shouldn’t have.
I did everything. It wasn’t enough.

Categories: observations

1 reply

  1. I’ve often liken the camera frame to this concept. The frame limits, but the creative vision persists. Brevity is a spice; it must be added with care and know how. You did that above.

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