Creativity in Crisis?

During this past week, I learned that one of our most reputable local literary publishing houses was closing, declaring insolvency, and had begun bankruptcy proceedings. For almost fifty years, local writers have had their publishing dreams realized and many others have been inspired by this independent publisher.

Along my journey to submit pieces of my writing, I have discovered that many literary print magazines have closed submissions due to lack of resources, and some no longer exist.

Last evening, I attended a lecture at the school of journalism at our local university. The theme of the lecture questioned the future of media. There is a tug and pull between carefully crafted press releases and genuine investigative reporting.

Is creativity in crisis? Certainly journalists and writers have been challenged more in the last few years as we have seen the rise of populism surface around the globe. Declarations of fake news obscure truth telling. Power is obtained and maintained by managing the narrative.

Fear, anxiety, and distrust can overwhelm us as we read through negative news feeds, read vitriolic attacks by organized trolls on social media, and plow our way through one global disaster after another. Should we be concerned about a pandemic or not? At times, our trust in the written word falters when there is so much contradiction and confusion.

There are certainly numerous challenges for writers and readers of the written word these days.

Yet, humans crave and require opportunities for creative expression whether it be through writing or another form. Imagination can be transformative. When we put pen to paper or fingers on the keyboard, we can lose ourselves in the process of creating words that allow us to share what is in our hearts and minds. Expression can be both healing and affirming.

Storytelling is the means we use to connect with one another. It is the medium in which we learn about our differences, our similarities, our pain and our joy. Let’s ensure that we continue to embrace our creative impulses and to share them with one another. Happy writing!

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