Tag Archives: creativity
On my best writing days, I can slam words together without much effort. It’s like I’m possessed and the word flow is unstoppable. Ordinarily though, it’s a painful, laborious process.
Yesterday I came across a shortcut for story-telling. It tells as much about how we are expressing ourselves in our SMS society, as it does about what we did last summer. And last spring. And in the last few days of the year.
Here is my 2009, a story stitched together using The Best of My Status Updates.
500 words before I sleep * is grateful her kids don’t mind McDonald’s for dinner tonight * is staying up to watch history in the making * actually went for a run…and liked it * welcomes home her two little wanderbunnies * is living the dream * lo and behold a shopping trolley in my bedroom. must be Moving Day * loved offspring’s reaction when we came home from shopping and gave her a new amp * is eating pink sorbet * listening to Bjork on a Saturday morning * is ready to see her daughter switch that tassle. Thank you my friends, for the free-flow Moet * Up at dawn for a walk on the beach with my dad, then pancakes and sausages * eating cereal at 2am and thinking: my daughter moves away to college next week * loving all the sweet tea, warm biscuits, and Southern hospitality * back in the Windy City: hello, deep dish pizza * why can’t I nurse a coffee the way I nurse a drink? * is going shopping in her closet * coffee makes it all better * hopes to see shooting stars tonight *
The quotidian can surprise, too.
What was on your mind, in 2009? Do share.
Insanely busy week. What a relief that I’m not buying too many presents this year (I’m baking most of them) and I’ve sent in the last magazine article of the year. So as far as paid work for 2009 is concerned, and most of my must-do’s, I am done. And free to do stuff that, well, I do for free. Hah.
So here is a preview of what I have planned for the next few weeks.
1. Write: a checklist for parents with a kid graduating in June 2010 (go Seniors!); a kind of “what to expect when your kid is expecting college acceptance letters” piece. I don’t see too many books about that; or blog posts either.
2. Start: my One Song, One Photo project. I might root around my old stuff to jump-start the process of matching up a song title from my iPod with a photographic image.
3. Think about: What were the absolute top ten albums of the decade?
Your turn. What are your plans this week?
Do little kids still do show-and-tell in class? It’s been too long since I had a preschooler around, so I really have no clue. And working from home as I do, it’s maddening to stumble on something really cool, as there’s never anyone around to share it with. (Unlike back when I worked in radio, when thousands of kids harked on my every word. Sigh.)
Nowadays, I can almost hear crickets. Or my dog scuffling about in his sleep. Derisive, mocking noises that remind me of how lonely it is to be a freelancer at times.
But back to some really cool stuff that I just have to share.
I just about fainted with joy over this idea of blackout poetry, a mode of expression thought up by Austin Kleon. Quite simply: instead of wringing words out of an unyielding brain, why not take a sea of words that are already there and black out the ones you don’t need?
What makes me think I can write? Why do I even dare call myself an artist of any kind (the label is a badge; oh yes it is, and one of the main ingredients of coolness which is why I covet it so)? There are days (like today) when everything I jot down is quite simply, just painfully awful. And I just want to curl up in a little ball and make Alternative Life Plans that have less to do with creative pursuits, and more to do with raising eight cats, or watching other people’s children.
Many years ago, a musician friend and I were fantasizing about our future fantastic rockstar selves over really bad coffee while the entire In Uteroalbum played softly in the background. I rambled on and on about the plot of my pending Great Breakthrough Novel; he rambled on and on about his ideas for The Great Breakthrough Indie Film he would write, produce, and direct.
“Dude. You have a muse,” he said, squinting as he sucked deeply on his cigarette. (He said it in the same way someone might say “Dude, you have a flake of dandruff on your shoulder.” Matter-of-factly with a touch of gentle concern. Or warning, even.)
“Seriously. Dude. If you don’t listen to what she says, she’ll go find someone else.”
I believed him. Still do. And then I stumbled upon this video. Elizabeth Gilbert shares her theory about creativity, which came to her as she pondered what she calls the “freakish” success of her novel Eat Pray Love.
What goes around once comes back again, and then kicks you right in the butt.