Just as RicoChey is suggesting a mob of us writers collaborate, I begin reading a book about creative collaboration. In Big Magic, Liz Gilbert puts forth her experiences with inspiration — that thing of mysterious quality and substance, like fairy dust — and putting herself to work at the vocation of writing every day — hard labor. The magic will come, she says. It’s just OUT THERE, WAITING.
Inspiration, ideas, are just flitting around the universe in search of willing conduits. There’s no predicting when the magic might strike. But according to Gilbert, the creative being, the conduit, must already be at work to be limber enough, and willing enough, to be truly receptive.
Within the pages of this book are some pretty far out stories of her experiences. The lady writer has some pretty far out ideas that have not yet been proven by her experiences; nevertheless, I appreciate her passionate devotion. I appreciate that she is passionate enough, and creative enough to personify such things as genius, ideas, the cosmos, love, and vocation.
I appreciate that she accepts with faith and gratitude that she was meant to be a writer, and that everyone else on the planet is meant to express themselves creatively in some manner. She sees creativity as a biological imperative, as well as a definite human entitlement. I dig that. Liz has got to be one heck of a fun dinner conversationalist.
This book is woven with incredible tales of other (famous and obscure) creatives who stay ready and willing to receive inspiration on its own terms, and who, like Liz, developed their own philosophies on how they must all individually proceed with a creative life. Quite a fun read, and yes, an inspiring one.
Thus far, her words have inspired me to continue fighting off those ugly doubts that persistently tell me to give up on writing — your stories have no purpose, Kathy, your poems aren’t poems at all, you possess no musicality, stop already. I’ve been slapping down this voice for years until getting just plain worn out. But here’s the thing: I am a writer. My soul speaks in direct opposition to that ugly voice. Wherever the hell it comes from.
I am a writer. It’s time to get back to work. Who’s with me?