Socialization — Curing Creative Dullness

by Bruno Ntabwoba

When I started watching the show GIRLS, I didn’t know how strong my need to write would become as a result; I actually didn’t even know if I wanted to write at all. I felt like I would be better off watching shows about creativity, instead of following through with my own creative process. So, I met Hannah; an extremely complex writer, living in an $800/month minuscule apartment in New York City, struggling everyday to make ends meet. By the time I was done with the first season, I had fallen in love with, first of all, how inclusive the show was in terms of personality traits. People who would have under normal circumstances, been considered weird, unapproachable, or even socially awkward, were given a voice and the opportunity to be themselves and still be appreciated. Second, the authenticity of this HBO phenomenon threw me under its charm, as it highlighted how hard it is for authors to come up with substance for their writing, especially when they’re based on personal recollections.

Following her various attempts to write, Hannah decided to join the writers’ workshop at the University of Iowa; a group of young writers who would meet on a regular basis to assess each other’s pieces, and would one after the other contribute to making them as good as they could possibly be, through constructive criticism. This particular season(the fourth) of the show made me realize that it doesn’t matter how smart or resourceful one is, it is simply a rite of passage for a writer to experience a period of creative dullness, where they are either lacking in material, or are downright reluctant when it gets to putting their ideas down. However, watching this show gave me such a better sense of self and made me realize that I, in one way or another, wanted to bear the burden of the Rwandan literary community, and as such be a contributor in bettering it; and in the spirit of “two heads are better that one”, creative dullness can be overcome through socialization with like-minded individuals.

It goes without saying that there is a presence of skepticism behind trying to galvanize an entire community, with my only inspiration being a fictional character, but how catapulting would it be for Rwanda, if her writers could meet beyond web portals, to share pieces, and form opinions about one another’s with the common goal of helping each other ultimately become better writers, and thus collectively celebrate the written word?


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