Tag Archives: creativity

Have Keyboard, Will Travel

I’m glad to say that after my last update I made some time in my life for writing my novel again.  This is quite an achievement because the distractions and tornado keeps on building around me.  The whole world seems to want to go up in flames, and perhaps it should, and I’ve got wandering random family members in transition in this funnel of frantic windy energy needing a couch to sleep on.  Thusly I have no private space where the mind can be fertile and still enough that it suddenly freely sprouts words, one upon the last, building and building, until there is a tower of words, wobbly, but upright.

As a matter of fact I am writing this now instead of working on my book in the precious morning I have before work because I can manage this kind of personal writing with the distractions, but not the real hard work of writing a novel.  I’ve set myself a quota of words each day: a measly 500.  This can count towards that goal, as well as the collaborative posts I do at Pan Historia, but it doesn’t feel as satisfying anymore, not as compelling as getting into the heads of my characters.  I miss my book when I’m not at it.

I just took a break from writing this to browse computer tablets.  I started to wonder, since I have lacked a private space of my own, a space with a door that shuts the world out, if I were to go fully mobile could I pick up stray pockets of time and privacy from my maelstrom days to dash out those few measly words, make those notes, build that tower…

Nope, they lack the essential tool that I crave: a keyboard.  I could go retro and try the notebooks, and I have done that before, but unlike those folks that love freehand and the pen or pencil, I’m a sucker for the keyboard.  I can type about 50pm if I factor in the mistakes, or maybe faster by now, and I need the speed because that’s often how fast the words flow.  When I write by hand I miss words, phrases, even passages, skipping over them as the next word crashes into me.  I paint the same way.  I can’t do it slow.  Which of course begs the question: why isn’t my output greater?  The answer is frustrating: I fritter away much of my free time (little and precious though  it is) in frivolities.  I resolve, every day and every minute, to do better, but when you’re a speed freak, like the hare, you need a lot of breaks.

I have seventy more words to find… then I’ll have fulfilled my quota for the day.

Oh my god… had another idea, took another break – could this be the solution:

 Freedom Pro Bluetooth Portable Folding Keyboard

It’s a bit pricy, but so far the reviews are good.  I can whip this sucker out of my backpack, hook it up to my phone and be on my way.  Hmmm… this could work.  Have keyboard, can travel.  It seems I’m on the eternal quest to be completely hooked up until my excuses have no where to run and hide anymore, and either I write, or I admit that I’m not a writer.

 

Haha.  556 words.


Letting the Genie Out of the Bottle

I just watched an amazing presentation on the source of genius and creativity by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love, that I want to share with you all on my writing blog this morning. Not only did it answer a few questions for me as an artist but it confirmed some of my own beliefs about art and the myth of the tortured artist. Elizabeth talks not only about writing but writing as an art form and the writer as an artist but about the other arts as well so this talk is essential for all creative people.

As a student majoring in fine arts (I have a Masters in painting) and as the offspring of artists I’m, more than most, fully aware of our stereotypes, culturally, about artists as tortured souls that pay for their genius (modern definition of the word being that genius is being really smart or creative) with terrible mental and emotional problems. The quintessential poster boy for this viewpoint is, of course, Vincent Van Gogh. The viewpoint is so all prevailing that I know artists who have considered themselves failures when they didn’t die young, or bemoaned the fact they haven’t had a nervous breakdown yet.

Normally sane people, in other words, will drink, take drugs, cultivate disruptive and destructive behaviors, just to fulfill society’s prophecy that the creative individual is doomed. There are, naturally enough, tons and tons of examples. As I was studying art, being a rather sane individual that really didn’t want to booze myself to death or suffer from mental illness just for my muse, I had plenty of cause to think about this topic. I was also studying art history at the same time and it’s pretty easy to trace the history of the idea of artist as tortured individual from its origins. Great art has been produced of it, but is it really that useful of an idea? Can we change it?

Elizabeth wants to give us a new myth about artists and creativity and it’s actually a very old myth. Watch and rejoice:

Elizabeth Gilbert on Genius