Tag: inspiration

Your Stories are Wiser Than You Are

Whenever readers express their admiration for what I’ve created, I feel abashed. For many years I interpreted this as feeling fraudulent, as though surely I hadn’t written whatever they’d read or perhaps they were projecting their own unintegrated esteem onto me or buttering me up. Then I went through a spell of deliberately trying to take in others’ praise. I’ve earned it! I told myself. But that didn’t sit right. Later I tried practicing gratitude; the opportunity to have a reader read my words is a real gift, and doubly so when the reading experience matters to the reader.

Somehow, though, none of these reactions to others’ praise felt right. Was I conditioned to deflect compliments? Why, despite positive responses, did I never feel worthy? Continue reading

From Will to Inspiration: The Creative Spectrum

Image 1Today I’m celebrating marvelous diversity in creative process. On one end of the spectrum, you’ve got Vladimir Nabokov, who claimed his characters were his galley slaves. Here the artist controls the medium and the content. You have an idea and, with great discipline and hard-earned skill, you execute it. On the other end of the spectrum, you get the novelists whose characters dance the tarantella or pick up a gun or cook tortellini of their own volition. The artist is simply a channel for material and craft. Creative energy works through you and your creation, surprising you in the process.

Then there’s the muddled middle between willful exertion and utter surrender which is where most artists reside. Continue reading