Unlocking Creativity

While sitting on a beach in Indonesia, I realized I would have to go home one day. My six-month world exploration would end and I would be back in reality. If I had to join Western society again, what did I really want to do? I had made my living in the film industry since I was a teenager and watched the years go by assisting others make their vision come to life. It was a good living and something I wanted to do, but not good enough. I had put aside my own creativity, locked it in a cage and long forgotten the key. Something was missing and I knew I was the only person who was able to change my life. On that beach I vowed I would start writing again.

But when I got home and sat down to write I didn’t have a story to tell. I had to find that key and unlock my creativity. I was willing to do the work but I was stuck, it made me tired, and brought doubt that I had what it took to be a screenwriter. I needed a mentor. I didn’t have to do it alone. Creating Realities provided a safe place to express my ambition and confide my fears. I could define my goals and was guided out of the muck. Getting down to the core of my creative block and how that was attached to all aspects of my life was a terrifying and liberating experience. And when I sat down to write, the words came. A floodgate had opened and years of pent up creativity gushed out of me onto the page.

But I was holding back, afraid to really express myself. Clipping my wings before I could soar, I didn’t show a word to a soul. I could write in secret, but it would be difficult to make a living if I couldn’t share. With Creating Realities I came up with a new set of goals and, as I got braver, so did my writing and I shared it. Disappointingly, I found out my work was unstructured and therefore unmarketable, but that wasn’t anything I couldn’t learn, I had raw talent and what I needed was to go back to school. Wasn’t I too old to do that? The fears and doubts came up again but with Creating Realities mentoring me I could see it would be worth it. I graduated a year ago and I have been hired to create a web-series, write a pilot and two of my screenplays have been optioned. I have a new goal set up to help me with my newfound neurotic self-doubt. But I hear that’s what real writers are like.

It feels like it’s been ten years since I sat on that beach in Indonesia, with everything that’s changed but it has been less then five years. That’s how fast it can all change when you have the right goal and the right mentor.

Photo: Gillian Muller

Gillian Muller, Screenwriter



Editor’s note: Western society is spelled both with a capital W and a lower case w. I went with upper case.

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