I'm taking two online classes this spring. One, XHTML, is a language that provides guaranteed outcomes in most cases. The second, in multimedia, is another area that provides somewhat immediate gratification in terms of creative output.
Unlike writing, what I put into coding, photography, graphics and animations may be open to interpretation, but my projects don't have to be compared to all the other "greats" in history for me to consider them creative. Don't get me wrong...all these avenues open up worlds that help my writing. They remind me that nothing is set in stone, that you can mess up, go back and find out where you went wrong, and make it better the next time.
They also give me renewed respect for every driven artist of words, ideas, images, computers, and even text. It's inspiring to see so many avenues of expression and know that it takes dedication and sometimes absolute trust in oneself to overcome the world's habit of saying that so much is impossible.
In the case of writers, we listen to everything around us even in a resounding silence. We taste words in a way that only someone who sees and experiences their variations can do without being called crazy. We are then driven to describe thought feasts in words, in imagery and to recreate a scene, a confrontation, a loving moment, sheer exhaustion or the feeling, more than a thought, that made us change our minds about the possibility of failure -- and write.