A Craving For Creativity- Self Assessment (Ross Laird, Creative Writing 1240: Writing for New Forms and Media
As a proud student of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, I have always tried to stimulate creativity in the classroom. Whether it be through my rap responses to class discussions, multi-modal final essays/projects, or my KPU sponsored outreach program, “Frontier Poetics”, I believe that creativity has and always will be at the forefront of my interests and daily living. With that in mind, I greatly enjoyed Ross Laird’s 1240 Creative Writing class, as it gave me a relaxed, welcoming, and positive space (both physically and mentally) not only to write on subjects that stray from the traditional academic paper but to also improve my writing along the way.
While I have only written five blog posts so far, the minimum requirement for the class, all five posts mean a great deal to me as they all showcase various sides of myself. Each post gives readers a little peek into my perspective on a certain topic. Since I consider myself to thrive on humor, most of my posts are sprinkled with a comedic voice that is working through something. Much like my music, these posts were written with the mindset of getting something off my chest that has been lingering on my mind for a substantial amount of time. This mindset is my personal access to creativity, only this time, (as the class name suggests), I am writing in a form that is new to me.
The research involved in my postings range from books, to online journal articles, and then to my own personal experience and practice of reflection. While many may not call self- reflection research, I found it utterly exciting and the most useful resource to look back on a previous time in my life and then formulate a creative, meaningful, and entertaining composition. I would Much of what I’ve written put out online for the world to see gave me a sense of relief and closure on the various memories that I felt had been untreated and unprofessionally dealt with over the years. It was really difficult at first to try to put these issues into words that would not only help me, but hopefully help and inspire my readers as well who may be going or have gone through something similar. For instance, two individuals I wrote on for two different blog posts whom i haven’t spoken to in years messaged me recently, informing me that they have read my posts and were amazed by my unbelievably detailed memory, witty sense of humor, and personal perspective. Writing these five blog posts have gotten me such positive feedback from friends, family, and Ross Laird himself that I have gained a confidence in my writing that may have been tainted by the strict academic topics and rules that accompany a traditional university class.
While coming up with ideas for blog posts, researching, and reflecting all came relatively easy to me, the struggle was in condensing everything and limiting the stories I was telling. While yes, there are no length restrictions on the course website of this particular class, I also acknowledge that many people who will read my blogs are probably not going into a piece expecting a novel length story. So it is my duty to write my stories short and sweet. My issue has always been that I like to give as many details I can remember but learned through the writing of these posts that all the details I include in a given piece should work to add to the story I am telling. An idea such as this one has and will continue to improve the future essays I will write, blog posts, as well as my songwriting abilities (I rap in case yall forgot!).
While this may seem a bit bold, I would say that most of my time as a university student has been dedicated to a fight for creativity. I think students get caught up in the idea of getting good grades, completing homework, and quickly memorizing (but not learning) content on an exam that remaining engaged and inspired with one’s school activities can become increasingly difficult. It is for that alone that I have always tried to be a creative in all aspects of my life but especially school as it currently occupies the majority of my life. I don’t write this claiming to be a professional on creativity, but I do know I have a passion for it. Without creativeness within people, the world could not flourish. Words are powerful and these five posts validated my passion for writing, comedy, and self-expression. These three elements have saved my life at one point when I was a young boy struggling with Cerebral Palsy.
So it’s true, Yes I love to take writing courses, yes I am an English Major, and yes my passion within music is lyricism but none of these details prove by any means that I am a “great” writer. As Ross spoke about numerous times throughout the course of the semester, no one ever becomes a perfect writer. I acknowledge that my writing ability may not be the strongest, (especially for my association with the English department), but I have kept many of the essays I’ve written in the past and notice continuing improvement. Writing keeps me creative because I am constantly learning. I plan to speak with my professors, friends, and family to get feedback and useful criticism for any of my future writing projects. I also will continue to read as steadily as I can so to never lose touch with words and writing. I am surprisingly more proud with my posts than I ever thought I would be and while I don’t enjoy grading myself (but will for the purpose of this class requirement), I would say I deserve an A for the passion and personality embedded into each of my blog posts so far.
In closing, while I know I still have much to learn (and try other forms that will stimulate discomfort), I highly admire the work and passion Ross Laird so clearly possesses and spreads to his students. I think his classes are a breath of fresh air in the world of academia and more classes should learn to approach learning in a way Ross has. While this will be the last post I will write for the class, I will most definitely continue to conjure up blog posts as I enjoy writing them, and others seem to enjoy reading them. I believed through these compositions, I have learned the real value of the written word when utilized to cover areas of interest. Writing creatively through blog posts has proven to be a great outlet for creative expression that I can now utilize beyond the class. Thank you, Mr. Laird. You are a genius, and I mean that. May creativity live on through your knowledge and teachings.
Check out Ross Laird’s website for his own blogs, projects, and creative thinking:
I've just returned from this year's IDEA field school in the Amazon. The trip was, once again, an extraordinary…rosslaird.com
Also check out an essay and academic rap album I did with a friend for a third year English course. A project that began my fight for creativity in the classroom and was lucky enough to have published in theJUMP (The Journal for Undergraduate Multimedia Projects):