Nancy: Creativity Is Hard Work

Me, every writing day. Often, I am pushing the same damn boulder I’ve been pushing for weeks or months.

Last week, I had a conversation with a very creative person in a field other than writing. (Yes, it turns out there are creatives in the world who are not writers! I, too, was surprised.) We were discussing “living the dream.” Which is, apparently, what I, as a full-time writer, am doing. My creative friend, still working the day job, is not. And he had thoughts about that.

Actually, he has dreams of his own, which are wonderful things! He also has some misconceptions about what my day-to-day life of dream-living entails.

For those of you who have not met me IRL, I should explain that I have no poker face. Ergo, I could not hide my shock, dismay, and perhaps even amusement at his idea of my life. And while I have my own dreams of spending my writing days frolicking with unicorns and sliding down rainbows while the Best Story Ever Written magically appears on my computer screen, I’ve only had two, maybe three days tops, when unicorns have appeared. And those might or might not have involved whisky. That is to say, this dream gig is hard. Continue reading

Michaeline: 1990s Bowie Talks About Commercial Creativity

And the mice from their million hoards brought the artists gold coins. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

And the mice from their million hoards brought the artists gold coins. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

This week, I discovered a charming little gem on YouTube about being creative. Hermann Vaske, a director, author and producer who is a member of the German Art Directors Club (according to his website), interviews David Bowie in the mid-nineties. The almost six-minute black-and-white clip is interspersed with cuts; the interview is mostly conducted with Bowie on a sofa facing the camera, and Vaske with his back to his subject, looking out the window in that not-confrontational-yet-confrontational style the Europeans do so well. The visuals are intense – don’t take your eyes off the screen, or you will miss an important by-play. (See video on YouTube here.)

I found the content was a starting point to provoke my own thoughts about creativity and style versus meaning. I particularly liked this exchange: Continue reading

Michaeline: Commencement

Black and white photo from 1937 showing three women in graduation caps and lab coats mixing up a science experiment while riding on a flower-bedecked car.

Go ahead! Mix a metaphor and get ready to ride! It’s graduation weekend!!
(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Ah, the end of spring, and the glorious beginning of summer. It’s commencement season in the US, a time when people graduate, and begin the next steps of building their lives. And every year, commencement speakers are invited to institutions large and small to impart words of wisdom to guide those steps.

One of my favorite commencement speeches is one given by Neil Gaiman for the students graduating from the University of the Arts in 2012. The self-educated Gaiman, who never graduated from an institution but has a romantic fondness and idealization of them (he says), talks a little bit about his journey. He mused about Continue reading