Thursday, January 31, 2013

Amy Tan- Where Does Creativity Hide?

Amy Tan- Where Does Creativity Hide?

Honestly, this one didn't grab me all that much, so, you know, way to start off with a bang!  There was one small idea that did poke me in the belly, though.  I can't even remember if it was an actual point she was making or if I just took something she said as an aside and ran with it, but it's this idea of taking something in your life that feels uncomfortable, one of those feelings that you just can't shake, and using that as the basis of a writing project. I tend to avoid those niggly little nervous-worms like the plague.  When I find myself obsessing over them I distract myself and take showers to wash them off and hope that time will erase them, but maybe what I should be doing is diving right in, head first, and seeing if concentration and devotion of energy will help me to master them until they just don't bother me anymore.

It's a scary thought, but then anything in life worth doing is scary, right?


My current job is ensuring the survival and supervising the development of this thing right here:

At some point she, as well as any future siblings, will be fully raised and taking care of themselves in kindergarten or first grade (depending on which town we move to) and I'll need to get back to the Doing Something which in our society is recognized as a career.  As of right now, I have no clue what that will be, but I have some parameters of what I want it to be.  Very, very loose parameters.  The kind of parameters that don't really form any sort of border or outline but are just hazy clouds of a sort of vague idea.

In other words I have no clue what that will be.  Except that I know it will have something to do with creativity and I think it will have something to do with writing.

Due to several factors I won't go into here I find myself lately in this place of greatly lessened confidence, and I catch myself thinking that I'll never achieve any sort of success beyond child-rearing.  Of course, this is bullshit (or at least has the potential to be), so my goal is to construct a plan to get me past the hurdles and onto a path.  To be determined.

Like so many people in our society who are dealing with the daily struggle and affliction of having literally every option open to them, I have found myself to be crippled by opportunity.  I am, of course, grateful for so much opportunity, but I am one of those chaotic creative, flighty fun, obnoxiously commitment-phobic lovably indecisive folks who seems to flit from Thing to Thing, so, in an effort to narrow down my options to only include something that will both A) make some sort of income and B) not make me want to stab myself repeatedly in the face (not in that order.  But yes, okay, in that order) I have decided for now to focus on two tasks, and two tasks only.

1. Watch a TED talk every day for inspiration of some kind (really, any kind.  I will take literally any kind of inspiration I can get.  Surrounding myself with virtual examples of highly successful and confident people is a side benefit.)  My plan is to post each video here with whatever insightful yet pithy connections I can find to my own journey.  BAAAAHAHAHAHAHA, I know, I know.  Incoherent ramblings for the win!

2. Finish. The. Book.  

Like basically every other literature-loving mother out there in America, I am writing a children's book.  While it would of course be a dream come true, my goal actually is not to get it published, but to get it finished and sent out to publishing houses.  That's where I'm setting my finish line.  If I receive 100 rejection letters I am okay with that, because I will have finished it and Done Something with it.  But I need to finish it.  Well, I have technically finished it, but in reading it over again I've discovered it's split right down the middle- it seems I wrote the first half for one age group and the second half for an entirely different age group.  Was that not part of the assignment?

That is my mission.

For now, however, I'm off to go make homemade baby food out of organic kale and home grown flax seed while reciting the entire works of Shel Silverstein and playing a Mozart Toccata on my Stradivarius.  Molding young minds is such rewarding work!