Art. It’s what we do, it’s what we are, it’s “what we stay alive for” according to Mr. Keating in The Dead Poet’s Society. The Humanities are an incredible thing. They work together to create an emotional representation of the human capacity for emotion. The beautiful thing about the different disciplines (music, visual art, dance, theater, literature) is that they are not mutually exclusive. Painting inspires poetry; poetry inspires music; music inspires prose; and back again.
For this reason, it is important to keep an open mind when exercising your creativity. Let’s say you’re in a slump, and you haven’t really shaken your writer’s block, or you have no idea where to go with your novel. Take a painting class, pick up a guitar, sketch a lake view at the park. Look outside words on a page (or screen) and get your other creative centers moving.
One of our staff writers is a teacher, and she always integrates some kind of movement or visual component to her classes. She takes her students outside to read poetry; she has dance parties once a semester before the final. These seemingly odd activities increase the level of productivity in her students and creates the potential for a higher understanding of the Humanities as a whole.
So here is our challenge to you, brave contender of the written word: Write a paragraph that has something to do with your current writing project. Then, pick another medium that you can express the same sentiment in. For example, you wrote a paragraph that expressed sadness very heavily, so now, sit down at the piano and write a melody that could act as the score for that scene. See what you can come up with; you would be surprised how much it can help you.