Polly Vernon Does Creativity

April 07, 2014

Polly Vernon Does Creativity

In part one of her new blog, Polly Vernon kicks off our month talking all things creativity.

Contrary to popular belief, my job – journalism - requires serial acts of creativity. Unless… is that contrary to popular belief? Or actually in total confluence with popular belief? If you’re inclined to think of journalists as black-hearted-hacks whose central aim is to expose the darker sexual proclivities of famous people for the delectation of the non-famous, then yes, I suppose the notion that we’re actually somewhat creative might seem contrary to received wisdom. But, presumably, if you’re of the school which considers ‘journalism’ interchangeable with ‘lying for a living’, a product of the whole ‘never let the truth get in the way of a good story’ sort of approach, then you probably do think of journalists as creative, in as much as we’re constantly, frantically making awful stuff up. Although increasingly, many people seem to be maintaining both positions simultaneously, so who knows?

Point is: it is a creative pursuit. Articles are also called ‘stories’ with good reason; you’ve got to make them work like that. There are narrative arcs to adhere to, beginnings, middles and ends; colour and drama and highs and lows within every single one. You gotta hit the ground running with your intros (ref my invocation of the sex lives of famous people, above), while holding some punches back for lower down. So I think of myself as kinda creative. In a bullish, stubborn sort of a fashion. My capacity to create is not something I view in hushed, reverent terms; it’s something I view like a favourite pen. Entirely necessary if I’m to earn any dosh, and largely reliable. I don’t believe in writers’ block. I don’t believe in waiting for the muse to strike, so much as, hunting her down with a loaded catapault and striking her first.

So I approach the Creativity section of Headspace, with my arms petulantly (though not literally) folded, my head tilted spuriously to one side (again, spiritually, not literally), like I’m posturing in a hip hop video dance off (umm you’ve got this now, yes?). Come on then Mindfulness, let’s see what you got; let’s see if You can teach Me anything at all about creativity.

The first thing I realize, is that this part of the journey [1] is really, really nice. Sort of luxurious. Not hard, like some of the other bits. Not like the time I wept pretty much every practice through ten whole days of Mind, for example. (Yeah yeah, cleansing and necessary and ALSO ACTUALLY VERY HARSH THANKS ANDY.) Twenty minutes of Creativity, is like the meditation equivalent of a facial. A facial for the soul. A social? Oh no, not that. But a straightforward, flamingly obviously pleasant thing to do with your head, first thing in the morning.  

So I’ll take that, thanks.

The second thing I discover, is that I’m dressing better.

Seriously. The silhouettes [2] are more daring, more deftly and sharply realized (did you know that when you turn up the hem of a skinny jean one and a half extra inches, and arrange a striking pair of socks so that they peek beguilingly from the top of your ankle boot, you can pretty much revolutionize your entire sartorial vibe? Neither did I, one month ago!). The colour / texture combinations have entered a brave new world of extraordinary. I’ve done yellow wool with black leather (successfully); I’ve done grey sporty marl over silk (ditto), I’ve done denim versus faux fur (London is still chilly at the time of writing). The things I’m doing with accessories (the artful way I’m tucking tee shirts into belted jeans, the angle on my hats!) would blow your mind! Well, probably not. You might well not even notice. But I know.

[1] NB still desperately seeking an alternative to ‘journey’, something  less Simon Cowell™ in nature. Still no closer to finding one.

[2] Forgive me for not resisting the fashion writer’s compulsion to use the third person, with reference to my look. It’s a pretension intended to communicate the awed reverence with which we people view our personal style. I promise I’m indulging it with some irony and awareness here. I’m pretty sure. Almost positive. Yep.

Read the second part of Polly's blog later this month

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