Tag Archives: Creativity

This Morning’s Analysis

7 May


I came to the conclusion

while walking today

that the amount of effortlessly formed words

is directly linked

to the amount of time

spent under tall trees

allowing their safe branches to shelter me


I discovered

the desire to create

is fueled by the smells of green and growth

and staying indoors

is synonymous with

staying in my head

all locked up with man-made objects

nothing to provoke wonder


not like wandering


moving one foot in front of the other

down the block

or across the world


maybe it’s nature

returning to my roots

a scared child who found

freedom in the woods


maybe it’s the unfamiliar

fighting its way into the mundane

parts of my day


and maybe

it’s the need to be part of something more

than my tiny life

my several decades

my decisions and doubts

my dreams and desires


my panic that rises lately when I think

of all of this being over so fast


it’s why we conceive children

and build towers

why we write books we hope will last

It’s why we watch sunrises over mountains

and start causes to rescue the world

it’s why we live in communities

and go to football games and concerts

it’s why we get lost in throngs of people

and sit solitary facing crashing waves

it’s why we fall in love


we have to know

this reality isn’t just



we have to know

what the trees know


we are part of an expansive, connected, beautiful universe

no life is separate


and so I suppose

my final


conclusion is this:

to be happy

to be at peace

to live creatively

I must

get out of my house

get out of my head

and live



So It Begins

30 Jan

so it begins

just like this

a way that feels insignificant

(just like all great things)

a girl, typing on a keyboard

on a bleak January day

and her cup of coffee sits beside her, of course

her dog lays at her feet

it is audibly quiet

and mentally loud

and so she types

desperately needing something to make sense

for distractions to remain flung aside

for creativity to take over


this is the hard rocky ground before you strike water

these first few

(Sentences. Paragraphs. Pages. Chapters. Books.)

maybe the deeper and more powerful, the cleaner and more pure the water flow,

the more you must dig

and you must

otherwise, the water will be muddy

the color of her coffee that lays untouched

because even the act of lifting up the heavy mug to her lips may interrupt the flow


(This is such a weird thing)

to be connected and attached to this idea that’s not fully yours

to stress and strain and feel insignificant and incapable only to come back to the same place:


Writing is really just moving yourself out of the way so

Something else can speak through you

so why should I worry?

why should I fear?

why shouldn’t I just trust You

the voice

creativity Himself


I Know Now Why Writers Are Crazy

27 Aug

The other night I was driving home from work on Precinct Line Road and the moon just rose above me, like it was trying to startle me, and I saw it for a moment, saw its beauty and really took it in and for a second I felt like myself, like really, truly myself at my best, not the me hiding behind small talk and small thinking.

I feel like myself now, too, in the best way. Typing away with nothing to gain and nothing to prove, just writing for livings sake.

I feel this for a moment, then I start judging myself and the criticism flies at me, unavoidable.

Why do I write about writing so much?

Perhaps there is a lot of empty air surrounding anything resembling a creative muse, and so I write about writing instead of actual events or metaphors.

Even now, my addict brain is shouting, “Gimme, gimme, drown me out with facebook, with something, quick I need a fix.”

No. No, I won’t live like that. I won’t deny myself breath. I hate the lazy part of myself but I indulge it as well.

If I need poetry to live, I am not doing a very good job at living.

I need Your words.

But sometimes they seem just out of reach.

A voice in me asks,
“What does it feel like?”

So I attempt to answer:

An archer poised to hit a target across a sea
not knowing which way the wind is blowing

A crying newborn flailing his arms to touch love
while the one who bore him is in the other room

owning a treasure map to a land that doesn’t exist in this world

that place of waking sleep when the answer is clear and clean
then slips away as you regain consciousness

writing everyone one of these shitty lines and hating them violently
wanting them to bleed out and die in front of me
wanting to give up and do something that involves less of me

So I write about writing as if he were my lover and my enemy, my life, my own obsession, my light and my darkness.

Maybe he is.

(I know now why writers are crazy)

Maybe he’s the only thing I’ve had to make me feel like me,

To keep my sanity. (sort of)
To even begin to make sense of myself and the world around me.

All these emotions, whirring, violently thrashing against the inside of me.

My eyes are beginning to close but I keep typing because I still am not there.

There are a lot of layers, I buried these things deep, this real sense of being, of mattering, of doing.

There it is:



Rough edges still.

But shiny.

And priceless.

Meager Wednesday Words

30 May


today I know I have something to say

but I don’t know how to say it

(seems to be the story of my life)

raging words

and silence


but no more

I stand under the shower

and hot water pounds on my mind

and slowly beckons


the rhythm and meter and


the words



never forced

utter grace


“It’s easier,”

I think,

“To live with your



and heart



dust clouds had gathered for days

I felt listless

searching for meaning


it takes strength to walk through the mundane

as if it did not exist

as if it doesn’t have a hold on me

as days go by and nothing seems new


(but all things are)


and so I choose to live inside this pattern of words and cadence

I live

and know

I don’t need a mountain view

a foreign landscape

a near-death experience

to do what I do


“It takes bravery,”

I think,

“to live with your eyes

this open.”

Don’t Let Comparison Kill Creativity

25 Oct

Words have power.

Certain declarations are like pins pricking the balloons of creativity that are meant to float up into the sky and show the world something beautiful.  Instead, they are left lifeless and deflated on the ground.

“They are so talented, I could never be as good as them.”

“I may as well smash my guitar after hearing that guy.”

“After reading that, I feel like giving up on writing.”

“That’s a tough act to follow.”

“There is nothing new under the sun. Everything has already been created.”

I have said those things and more often I have thought those things. It’s impossible not to at times, especially in a culture where everything is a competition. We make art a contest.

I mean, isn’t it? After all, this is a dog-eat-dog world. There is not enough spotlight for everyone, only the best rise to the top, right?

I wrote a blog a few weeks ago asking the question,  Does Good Art Deserve Recognition? It was amazing to hear the feedback I got from writers, singers, musicians, etc. Most people want to live a child-like and care free existence where they are creating out of joy, but along the way life catches up with us and we began to feel chewed up and spit out by the system, we begin to compare ourselves with others and feel deflated. Our dreams become grounded.

We don’t need to stay there.

I say, it’s time to stop making art a competition. Everyone is unique, we all have something different and beautiful to give the world. We know this as four-year-olds, we learn it from Barney and Sesame Street, but somewhere before we hit middle school we stop believing it.

But we can go back there, tap into that pure flow, in the place that exists before the pressures to perform took over.

What we have is a unique expression of what it means to be a human being. We don’t have to hoard it or be ashamed of it.

There is enough beauty and color, enough pain and suffering, enough story in the world to reflect it in six billion different ways.

Is there a place for critique? Definitely, we all have a lot to learn. But if you pick something apart in the middle of it being born, it loses the spontaneous life in it.  Is there a place learn from others who may have years more experience at their craft, or a different perspective? For sure, diversity is a wonderful thing. But we can’t expect to be them. And we shouldn’t need to. The world doesn’t need another them.

So let’s stop using our words to negatively assess and compare our gifts with others.

Let’s stop judging and start living.

I recently read some of the best advice from Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet. He is speaking of poetry, but it applies to anything creative.

“You have asked if your verses are good. You ask me. You ask others. You send them to magazines. You compare them with other poems, and you are disturbed when editors reject your efforts. Now, I beg you to give up in all that. You are looking outward, and that above all, you should not do now. Nobody can counsel and help you, nobody.

There is only one single way. Go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you to write; find out whether it is spreading out its roots in the deepest places of your heart. Acknowledge to yourself whether you would have to die if it were denied you to write. This above all– ask yourself in the stillest hours of the night: must I write? Delve into yourself deep for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet this earnest question with a strong and simple ‘I must,’ Then build your life according to this necessity; your life even in its most indifferent and slightest hour must be a sign of this urge and a testimony to it.”

“Believe that you can change the world. Your dreams have been living in a code of silence. Find your voice. Make a noise.”-Katie Herzig

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