Tuesday, June 28, 2011


The ordered chaos I imagine our imaginations to be
Like a lot of people everywhere, I want to create, and share what I've made. The choices, alas, are limited: I'm a terrible artist; I have no idea how to go about making a movie; I'm a mediocre musician; I can't act.

But I can write. Somewhat.

So I keep my drawings to myself, and play music for others in only a limited way, and stay off the stage (as if they'd have me). But I write my books, and edit them, and try to find a way to get them into the hands of people who might like them. I'm encouraged by people who I see--friends and family--making the same effort, and starting to have success. I'm encouraged by the blogs of people I've never met who doing the exact same thing. I'm encouraged when I read some unknown person's ebook and really enjoy it.

But be careful. Nurture your creativity. Protect it.

Inside all of us there is a source of creativity, a point of origination. It is the fount of art and invention. From that point springs all imagination, all inspiration, all beauty, and even joy. It is the home of the faculty Romantic poets called "poesy" for some ungodly reason, and it is the locus of all authentic thought. It is the center of our identity as independent Creators.

It's your fault. I told you.
This faculty, as essential to our creative self as breath is to our physical self, can be destroyed--just as surely as our eyes can be burned out staring at the sun--by reading any helpful advice telling you all you must do to win over a literary agent.

And if you stare too long, it'll suck out your soul.

I'm not kidding.


1 comment:

  1. http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

    I don't agree with her philosophy as a *belief*, but as a creative construct, I think it's pretty cool. Long, but worth listening too, especially for the Tom Waits anecdote.