Thursday Think and Talk
Thursday’s blog posts are designed to give you something to think and talk about………filled with recommended reading, surprise content from other writers, poets and creative coaches.
To kick off our first Thursday Think and Talk, today we will talk about the Grand Dame of Creativity, the marvelous author of “The Artist’s Way” Julia Cameron.
Julia Cameron is the guru of digging into the creative life. She encourages us, challenges us, protects us, lifts us up and asks us hard questions. All driven by the same belief Pablo Picasso echoed, “All children are born artists. The challenge is remaining one when they grow up.”
So, here is a fun exercise for you. If you have not ever read this glorious book, run out today and pick a copy up. Begin with the contract to self and read through the first chapter. After that open the book at random, read that chapter and complete the exercises at the end.
If you have read the book, but it has been a while, go back to the contract, review your original answers and compare it to where you are now, and where you want to be. And then follow step two, open to a random chapter, read and answer the exercises.
If you recently (or within the last year) have enjoyed the benefits of this gift, just open it anywhere and follow the same instructions
And then chime in with your answers if you are feeling brave enough……ah, chime in anyway. The best way to bravery is what I call cliff diving.
Here is how that works. Julia begins her book with a contract. It is a promise to yourself to commit to following along with the book (at your own pace of course), but still a commitment to yourself to love yourself enough to take the time to honor your creativity.
I don’t know about you, but I wrote a blog recently about the best laid plans of mice and men, referring to the quote, noting that even with our best intentions, we get sidetracked, derailed, stopped mid step. It is human. It is life. It is reality.
So, the way I find is the most beneficial to finishing a commitment is to put myself in a place of no return, a.k.a. cliff diving. For example, in each of my three last businesses, I positioned myself (not always intentionally mind you) in a place that left me with no option but to follow through. In one business I ran a Groupon that sold 1200. It happened to be at the right time and I was in the right position, true. But the result of that was that I had to honor 1200 coupons for my business within a 6 month period (I told you it was like diving off a cliff). That meant I was working like a crazy person for a whopping $22/hour! Whoopee! Yay me! …………
I am not suggesting something that dramatic, unless that is your cup of tea. Rather, I am suggesting that you write something and publish it here. Put your work out there without the commitment of having to figure out how to launch a blog, or publish a book. It is both easy and, well, a bit terrifying if you have not every done anything like it before. But it is the only way to find out if the water is deep enough not to kill you when you dive from a cliff.
Whaddya say? Game? I bet you are. I bet you have so much to say you are ready to implode. So, share it.
To leave I want to share an excerpt from a poem written:
I walk, decided not to turn around.
Do not see your tears to forget mine.
I love you, leave you and take you.
What comes to mind when you read this? A parent leaving a child at school for the first time, or dropping them off at college? Someone leaving a beloved pet behind temporarily, or permanently? Losing a loved one? Siblings parting for an extended period? A child saying good bye to a parent?
Take maybe 20 minutes and write your own story from these three lines. Where does it take you. (You can put this sentence after your work?)
And another piece from a friend/business partner
a poem by Michael Aaron Lloyd
Taken from the cinema life,
of cold storms and discord
miniatures of once called kings
the metamorphosis of clay
the moss on the rock.
a fear of thunder
the frogs leap beyond
that gentle storm formed
at the foot of the traveler.
Both looking to the same sun for guidance,
an easier tour through the imagination
a score orchestrated
leading a suite of memories
long and dark
narrow at times
covered in water
airless and placid
a cavern meant for echoes
or forest for the frightened
There are great plains here
ever fertile soil that blooms
such magnificent flora
the architects plight in the city made of mud
what grows from that city
men formed out of clay,
battening eachother's clay hands
making clay pots and clay dishes,
wives taking clay vows
while draping clay veils,
crying joyous clay tears revealing
tiny rivers that dam as the tears lose momentum, the two
together making clay children,
inventing imaginary friends
made of quartz or flint,
whose shadows leave residue that
dry and become dust,
who form clay bonds and become larger
who build clay cities and tower over the clay towns and clay
villages, whose clay towers block the sun so that nothing grows.
Until one day a rain comes,
the clay men quickly try to find
enough leaves to cover their clay homes,
their clay wife
the leaves do not hold
and all of the clay men
Writing tip from Author / Designer / Musician, Michael Aaron Lloyd:
Create an Exquisite Corpse Poem with a Stranger
Find a Stranger, a pen, and one sheet of lined paper
Stranger A writes 1 to 2 lines of their own and then one to two words that will be the entrance for the second stranger to begin their couple of lines.
Stranger A then folds the paper so that their lines are hidden with the exception of their entrance words for Stranger B
Stranger B writes their lines while leaving one to two words for Stranger A to follow suit; folding the sheet as described above before handing it back.
Depending on how large your sheet of lined paper is you strangers can become acquainted, while waiting in anticipation for your turn to write a few lines. (I swear the anticipation is REAL!)
When there is no room left on the sheet of paper Stranger A or B can read the finished poem aloud.
OH, AND BTW……. I WOULD SO LOVE TO READ WHAT YOU COME UP. DIVE IN, THE WATER IS DEVINE!