September 03, 2015

The Making of a Creative by Steph Beth Nickel

I believe creatives are fueled by exposure to creativity and to those with a creative spirit.

Many of us remember books from our childhood. Among my favourite authors were P.D. Eastman, whose children's books I still quote, and Carolyn Keene. Nancy Drew books introduced me to the cliffhanger, which kept me reading "just one more chapter."

"Are you my mother?" "But the big thing just said, 'Snort!'"

Nancy Drew books captivated me as a young reader.
And even before I could read on my own, I remember snuggling with my mom as she read to me. I suppose that's one reason I have such fond memories of reading as a child.

While it's true that not all readers grow up to be writers, it's safe to say that most writers are readers. Considering the vast numbers of books in my library that I have yet to read, which I'm adding to regularly, this is certainly true of me.

Again, this is thanks to my mom. She didn't simply love reading; she loved books themselves.

I remember the thrill when one of my assignments, a board book for children, was selected and put on display in my school library. How cool is that!

I also remember a silly little kids' story I wrote many, many years ago. When I rediscovered it in my closet, I laughed and laughed as I read it. My English teacher wasn't nearly as impressed with my brilliance as I was. I suppose that was my first negative review. Oh, well!

I used to write poems by candlelight. I can still picture myself doing so. Poetry-writing persisted over the years. For quite a while I wrote a poem every day for my first blog, free2soar.

I remember my mom reading a complaint letter she wrote to Green Giant about their canned or frozen corn; I can't remember which. It was incredibly clever. She wrote it in the form of a poem.

Writing is not my only creative endeavour that goes way back. 

I loved to take photographs . . . and still do. 

I'm not sure where my love of picture-taking came from, but I'm thankful just the same.

And last I'll mention my interest in painting and drawing. In fact, I was accepted to the Sheridan fine arts program when I was 17, but I wasn't ready to move away from home. Plus, God had a better plan for my future. (Thank you, Lord!)

A few years back I dabbled with abstract painting just for fun. I feel compelled to stress those last three words, "just for fun."

I can also trace my interest in fine art to my mom. Although she didn't do much of it, she was quite good at painting. 

Ultimately, I attribute my creative spirit to the Lord. It is part of my being, part of what makes me me.

But humanly speaking, I look back and see my mom's fingerprints all over my creative spirit. 

Thanks, Mom! You will forever and always be loved and appreciated.


  1. Many small steps, insignificant at the time, that with hindsight display the path God took you to build your creative spirit. This reminds me to encourage children and young people as they branch out into their own creativity. Thanks, Steph.

  2. I see so parallels to my own experiences and childhood. it's so wonderful to find kindred spirits here at Inscribe!

  3. Like Tracy, I too see parallels to my own early interest in reading. I read the books that were available in the shelves of the brown bookcase at the back of the classroom: Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, and the Anne books by Lucy Maude Montgomery.


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.