I’m currently listening to Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archives. One of the notable features of Roshar, the world in which the fantasy novels are set, is the existence of creatures called spren. There are many types of spren, but they essentially represent different emotions or forces of nature, and manifest as small, glowing shapes.
One of the common types of spren are creation spren. These appear when one, unsurprisingly, creates something. While listening to the novels, I wondered what activities would cause me to attract creation spren.
They flit around and watch, admire. Most spren have a purpose. These are merely attracted by someone else’s purpose.”Pattern, Words of Radiance
At work, I don’t think I’d attract many throughout the day. Much of what I do doesn’t feel like true ‘creation’ to me – content/copywriting feels more like a problem-solving task than a creative one. Rather than coming up with ideas and finding the best away to express them, much of my day is filled with deciding the best way to put the words together in order to sell a product. This ranges from needing to tailor a blog towards a certain audience, to literally replacing words to ensure the SEO-optimised ‘keywords’ are prevalent enough in the text. For these reasons, I don’t think my day-to-day work would attract creation spren.
I believe that something else I did today would, though – once I got home, I made fresh pesto. While this isn’t a ‘creative’ endeavour, I still combined multiple different components together to make something new, and I definitely felt that sense of pride at having done it. In then feeding it to myself and my partner, I experienced direct payoff and praise – generating the kind of feelings that I believe would attract creation spren.
Now, I’m writing this blog. At times, this can also feel like a chore, if I’m being honest. Writing 500 words a day, and moreover thinking of topics to write 500 words about, can be difficult to feel passion for at times. However, I get a sense of accomplishment after each one, and feel I could attract creation spren when I word a certain sentence in the perfect way.
Of course, there’s the creative writing which I attempt to do every day – but don’t always achieve. I believe that would, most likely, lead to a high concentration of creation spren, were they real. It’s interesting to consider the implications of having emotions like that be visible to other people.
For instance, one might beat someone at a sport, and put on a humble front in their victory. If glory spren were attracted to those who experienced a victory, the winner’s true feelings would be laid bare. I’d be interested to see what conflicts could be caused or averted in our world by their existence.
I’d also like to know what kind of activities others have done which might attract a creation spren or two. Composing a new piece on a musical instrument? Illustrating a new work of art? Putting that story in your head down on paper? I think I’m going to try and do something every day that would attract a creation spren, and see where that gets me.