When I was first published at age 17, it gave a tremendous boost to my confidence to know that someone else imagined my work to be of value. Most often we don’t allow children to finish their sentences, “Shut up, kya bakwaas kar raha hai (what nonsense!)”.
Our education is becoming cut and dried and transactional. Everything is about “What am I getting out of it?” We need to get out of that mindset. What makes things worse is the onslaught of technology. I’m a huge tech geek, but I recognize what it’s doing to creativity. When I first started taking the workshops I noticed that some children would finish a story in 10-15 minutes. Sure, we live in a Twitter-driven age but why should children be in a hurry to finish a story? They need time to dwell on an idea, you can’t deep-dive into your imagination at one go. The other problem with technology is that it puts things on a platter. Earlier, when I was a child, my ghost was different from your ghost. Now, because of technology, children are seeing and experiencing the same things. The image of the ghost is now standardized.
There’s no teaching in creativity. Creativity is about recognizing the individuality of each child and letting them express themselves.
Too many rules will make children formulaic writers. Children make stories out of things that we would never imagine to be a story. And they need to be given the confidence that the next time an outlandish idea enters their head, they should not be dismissive of it. They should pursue it. There is a story about traffic lights, where the traffic light is viewed differently by the beggar and the person who’s driving a car. To the beggar, the red light is an opportunity to make some money; to the driver it means slowing down. This is a big writer thinking; making something so profound out of an everyday thing.
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Image Source : hans s / Hans Splinter