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  • Sue Schleifer

Creativity Takes Courage


It was with curiosity, excitement, and trepidation that I headed to the first session of the World Harmony Chorus rehearsal. The last time I sang in a chorus was as a senior in high school!


I left the house early to make sure I could find my way to this new place in the dark. As it turned out, I had trouble finding the right building, as did a few other people. We entered the correct room as the vocal warm-ups were on-going. No problem. We squeezed into a space that was a bit too small for my Covid comfort level.


As we began to learn by ear first a song from Galicia and then one from Brazil, I found that my tension eased. I know it will take time before I can wrap my tongue around the syllables and memorize the correct notes for my part. And, I’m excited to do something new in a community of like-minded people.


The message, “Creativity takes courage” is attributed to the artist, Henri Matisse. I sure feel that way about my play writing. It takes courage to write some of the characters I bring into my plays that don’t reflect my own beliefs. It takes courage to send out a play that I have worked on for a couple of years to a contest (or 50) and not hear anything back or maybe get word that it was not accepted for the development workshop that received more than 500 submissions for three available spots. It takes courage to turn over a play I have written to a director and cast and allow them to interpret and translate it to the stage.


I keep at it because I find enjoyment in the process. While it certainly would be great to have a play produced again, I’m enjoying writing, reading other writer’s plays in progress, discussing them, and seeing plays on stages and screens. It gives my life meaning.


At points in my life, I struggled to find anything to dig into. I dabbled in lots of different activities, rarely sticking with anything for very long. I thought that this was a problem. I wanted to be good at something and not a dabbler; I just didn’t know what it was I wanted to be good at. In truth, I was probably “good enough” at a lot of things. And now I can see that most of the activities and jobs that I have done throughout my life have contributed to and enhanced my current pursuits.


Dabbling may be a helpful way to discover what interests us. It’s not that the dabbling is a negative, it is the thinking that dabbling is a problem or somehow bad. Creativity comes in lots of different forms.


What thoughts do you have that might be getting in your way? How might dabbling help you to be present, curious, and creative?