A Cup of Creative with Mimmi from Muted Mornings

Wednesday 21 September 2016

Hello everyone! Another Wednesday means another interview. Today I'm chatting with Mimmi, which a lot of you probably know from her blog Muted Mornings. Mimmi is a blogger and a student in Glasgow and we got together to chat about linguistics, the difference between the arts in Sweden and the UK, and Scottish Dancing. I really loved chatting with Mimmi especially because unlike quite a lot of the people I've interviewed so far Mimmi doesn't actually class herself as a 'creative' person. Personally I think she's very creative but read on and make up your own mind!

Hi Mimmi thanks for agreeing to chat with me even though when I asked you to take part in this series, you said you didn't really see yourself as the most creative person! So tell me what creativity means to you, and why you don't think you are 'creative'?

Hmm, that's difficult. When I see what other people can create - be it painting, creative photography, writing fiction or creating music - my attempts seem rather feeble. I suppose writing my blog is creating, in a way, but I'm not someone who is constantly inspired, or constantly bursting with new, original ideas. I don't always have the need to express things through creativity, but rather I like to do it once in a while, just for fun. But then I guess people can be more or less creative, and that it's not really black and white as such. To me, creativity is using your impressions, experiences and thoughts to create something new. It doesn't have to be something overly original, as long as it's personal and created by you.

That was such a rambly answer, I'm sorry!

No that's a great answer, and that's the first time somebody has talked about creativity in terms of tangible things, but actually a lot of people see creativity in terms of things that can be produced!

Yeah, I mean, it doesn't have to be of course, but personally I can't think of creativity without thinking of something eventually being made, as a sort of expression of creative thoughts.

That's really interesting, and actually I know when I'm being "creative" I don't really feel like the thinking is worth as much as the actual product. Like in my job, I am very creative with the planning day in,day out, but I don't value it as much as I value the show that the theatre companies come and perform.

Yeah, I know what you mean. It's like with blogging - planning a blog post is actually a big part of the creative process, but doesn't really feel like it.

Yeah definitely!  So at the moment you are at uni studying Literature right?

Yes! My original plan was to just do literature, but I'll be doing linguistics as well over the next two years.

Do you find studying  great literature and authors inspires you? Or changes the way you view the world at all?

Definitely. It's fascinating to see how different people view (or viewed) the world, and how they express it through writing. Literature and history go hand in hand, and seeing how one can influence the other, and how much we can learn from how people thought at a certain time, is pretty amazing. Reading novels, or any texts really, is a little bit like looking through someone else's mind and seeing the world with their eyes.

Yes! When I was at Uni I was really fascinated by the idea that theatre and literature could be seen as another way of documenting history. Almost like a witness account.

Exactly! And you get so much more than just facts and figures - you get feelings and thoughts, which I think allows you to understand things better.

Yeah definitely it's just more human than numbers and dates!

So you're also taking on linguistics, that's almost the more scientific side of language right?

Mainly, yeah. It's quite broad actually. I'll be studying everything from old Icelandic to semantics (the meaning behind words, so sort of both scientific and philosophical at the same time), pragmatics (basically conversation analysis) and sociolinguistics (how language is used in society, like cultural norms, attitudes towards accents, etc).

We did a bit of grammar and phonetics last year, which was very technical/scientific and which I really enjoyed, but I'm not doing any of that the next two years.

I think that's fascinating! I guess language is this big monster that's been growing for, well basically, forever and came from a need for people to express themselves. It's probably the most important thing we've ever really created!

Yeah, exactly! It's so interesting to see how language is so closely linked to everything we do, and how it can be used in so many different ways for different purposes.

I'm such a language nerd, so I love it, haha.

I totally understand! 

Inveraray Castle

So as well as studying you've also taken up Scottish dancing! And you teach it, right? So, is Scottish dance quite a set routine, or is their any choreographing, involved in it?

Yes! I've been dancing since last September, started training to become a teacher back in January, and I'll be teaching a class (together with another person) this coming semester. The steps themselves are really quite set. There are certain steps that you do, and there's not any room for improvisation with those. Then there are quite a lot of different geographical "figures," i.e. where you go during the dance, and these figures can be combined in endless ways to create new dances, plus new figures can be created too.

I hope that made sense, haha.

Yes I think so! Dance is definitely something that is easier explained when you can see it!

I think given your blog, your degree and your Scottish dancing you are very creative!

Thank you!

Ok so, you are from Sweden right? I was wondering is there any way that creativity or the arts are treated differently in Sweden to the UK? I honestly know so little, as in nothing, about Swedish arts!

Ooh well, the arts are valued quite highly in Sweden. A lot of painters and artists can get a sort of salary/grant to live on (I don't know the details though), and the arts in general are heavily supported by the government. I'm not sure how it works in British schools, but it's also mandatory to take arts as a subject, and you get to do everything from theatre to painting to music.

I WANT TO MOVE TO SWEDEN! It is definitely not mandatory to study the arts in this country! They tend to be the first subjects cut when budgets get tight!

Oh no! That's rubbish.

So rubbish! But it is good to know some where in the world people have got it right! Or at least right in my opinion!I'm sure there is a Swedish scientist somewhere who hated been forced to study arts!

Oh yeah, I know a lot of people hated it. But I think it's really good! Sweden is far from perfect (as any country), but we have got some things right!

But as long as the option to study all the subjects is there, than that is better than not having the opportunity to study the things you love!

Exactly! I had to do PE which I hated, but some people loved it, soooo...

Swings and roundabouts!

I didn't actually study drama at school, because it clashed with history and because I was "clever" I was told to take the more "academic" subjects.

Aw that's a shame! Good thing you found your passion anyway though :)

Exactly, if you want something badly enough, or it’s meant to be you don't always need the gcse or qualification in it! Ok so I have kept you for long enough I'm sure! So my final question is something I've been asking everyone...

Do you have any advice for somebody who is struggling to embrace their creativity or who doesn't see themselves as creative?

No worries at all! Hmmm.... I guess simply to try and not compare yourself to others, and to not worry too much about being original. If it comes from your own inspiration and your own efforts, it is so worthwhile. Obviously I struggle a bit myself with seeing myself as creative, which is definitely down to putting too much pressure on myself, and expecting things that aren't really... me. Be true to yourself, do whatever feels right and makes you happy, and don't be a perfectionist.

I think that's perfect advice! Thank you so much for talking to me this evening! I think I need to get myself a book about linguistics!  Is there a dummies guide to linguistics or an introduction?  

Thanks for letting me participate! Hmm well, it's only a small area of linguistics, but if you're interested in accents I really recommend a book called "You say potato, I say potato"
I read it in about a day because I found it so interesting.

Thank you so much for chatting with me Mimmi this has been really REALLY fascinating and I will definitely be looking up that book!  And maybe a flight to Sweden!

No worries! It was really fun chatting with you about this. So glad to participate! Hope you'll enjoy the book, and yes - definitely go if you ever get the chance! :)

All photos are taken from Mimmi's blog Muted Mornings
 and you can also find her on instagram and twitter.

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