Creativity in reading

Library Parabola
The original British Library reading room, now at the centre of the Great Court, British Museum. Photo by Sifter on Flickr

I just gatecrashed a meeting some of my colleagues were holding, about writers running workshops in UK prisons.  One of the authors made the point that the term ‘creative writing’ can actually have a negative effect on the people attending these workshops, because it implies that writing is the only creative act.

What needs to be emphasised, he said, is that reading is a creative act too – Using your imagination to reconstruct the story and fill in the blanks, between the words the author has sketched.  This is well worth remembering, lest we invest all our admiration in writers, and neglect the other half of the equation, readers.

There’s another kind of creativity in reading too, which is in choosing just what to read.  Making connections between authors, and between their stories, constructing a network of books, choosing which literary pathway to follow – these are supremely creative acts too.

One Reply to “Creativity in reading”

  1. Ah but it also leaves open the possibility of destructive writing.

    There’s a competition if ever there was one.

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