Overcoming Creative Blocks

I am a girl of logic.

What I mean by this is that I enjoy numbers, procedure and think analytically by nature. I have never been especially skilled musically, in writing, or in fine arts. So when I found out that we had to create a 5-minute video along with an oral history my heart almost stopped. I can perform an interview and transcribe it, but creating a video unique to Sister Mary and myself seemed nearly impossible. I was a logic-driven girl thrown into a creative world. Yikes!

The first task we were given was to create a treatment or a story of what we were planning on filming and all the details of our short video, including music, shots and script. We were expected to do this over spring break, and I was so afraid of it that I put it off for over a week. Eventually I whipped one out, but I have to admit it wasn’t my best work. I was really struggling in a way that I hadn’t experienced since I started school. I was being challenged to think outside of my box, and I didn’t know how.

With the help of professors and a lot of deep thought, I finally realized what I would create. I wanted to create a video based on what touched me most in the oral history, which was Sister Mary’s deep love for her sisters and the community she belonged to. Once I realized what meant most to her I was able to create a piece of work that highlighted Sister Mary’s life. I can let you watch the video for yourself and see what I came up with, but what I will leave you with is the lesson I learned through this process: Creation comes from the heart, and while it’s not always easy to find, it can always be discovered.

Alexa Harnagel

About Alexa Harnagel

Alexa Harnagel is a student at St. Catherine University majoring in biochemistry and minoring in theology. In the future she plans to go to graduate school and work in a research lab. During the Spring of 2014 she was paired with Sister Mary Catherine St. Martin, OP; a Sinsinawa Dominican. After completing her work as an oral historian she worked as a production assistant and produced the podcast Curve Riders in 2015.