by Sheila Webster Boneham
Creative people tend to be creative in multiple ways. Most of my writer friends, for instance, pursue other creative activities when they’re not writing. Several of them make jewelry. Others paint or draw or sculpt. Many writers also garden. Some sing or play instruments, compose music, act, sew, decorate their homes.... If you’re creative, there are really no limits (other than time) to the possibilities.
|Wading In -by Sheila Boneham|
(watercolor, 11 x14, in private collection)
Which raises an essential question: what is a “creative” pursuit? (I won’t even touch “art”!) I believe that nearly anything can be done creatively. My husband, Roger, is an extremely creative cook. He modifies recipes with abandon, deleting an ingredient here, adding one there, adjusting proportions, and revising the next time around. Tom Saunders, the “main squeeze” in my mysteries, does the same when he has time.
|Pretty in Pink by Sheila Boneham|
(watercolor, 16 x 20, in private collection)
We human beings are, deep down, creative beings. Have you ever known a child who didn’t want to make things of her own design? Have you ever heard of a human society that had no art of any kind? To be healthy and balanced–to be fully alive–we must allow our creative instincts room to play. (In fact, I do not believe that creativity is strictly human, but that too is a topic for another time.)
|Cock of the Walk by Sheila Boneham|
(oil, 10 x 12, in private collection)
No matter which of my interests I pursue at a given time, my subconscious is playing around with one or two of the others. An answer to a question about a character’s motivations in a piece of writing may surface when I’m painting or drawing. A problem in the composition of a painting sometimes pops into my head while I’m choosing flowers for a hanging pot. Birds whose behaviors I capture with my camera suggest a line of poetry.
|Burning Bright by Sheila Boneham|
(watercolor & India ink, 16 x 20,
in private collection)
Maybe I’ll sign up for that pot-throwing class.
Sheila Webster Boneham is an award-winning writer who writes across genres and interacts across species. She is the author of the best-selling Animals in Focus mystery series from Midnight Ink and of seventeen nonfiction books, including Rescue Matters: How to Find, Foster, and Rehome Companion Animals (Alpine Publications, 2009, updated 2013). Sheila also writes creative nonfiction, literary fiction, and poems, and she teaches writing classes and offers individual mentoring for aspiring writers. Find her online at www.sheilaboneham.com, on Facebook, or by e-mail. Sheila runs the Writers & Other Animals blog and the companion Facebook group.