As a young woman, I struggled to find myself and my place in the world. I dropped in and out of college, held more jobs than I can remember, and moved to and from various exotic locals. I tried marriage—and divorce. Mostly, I lived in a whirl of confusion about who I was and how I would make my way—and I worried a lot about ending up a failure.
Nothing I attempted seemed to satisfy me. I watched my friends successfully pursing their ambitions, while I languished in feelings of inadequacy for the better part of a decade. At the time, I could not know that my experience with failure would give me exactly what I needed to eventually succeed. Not only did that protracted period of frustration inspire me to create something entirely new, suffering the pain of repeated failures helped to humanize me, maturing my capacity for compassion. More
This is Part 2 of a two-part series about the challenges inherent in creative beginnings. You can read “Beginnings, Part 1” here.
1. Trust your intuition.
Be receptive to your own rhythms and visions. There’s lots of free advice out there about most anything you’d like to begin. Saturate yourself with as much research as you can. Then adapt what works. Create an approach that honors your idiosyncratic style of accomplishing things. More
Even though I have been writing for over twenty-five years, in some ways I feel like a beginner as I prepare to launch this website and blog. In opening myself to a wider world of possibilities, I feel the excitement, the hope, and the fear that accompanies all new beginnings.
I hope you will feel inspired, supported, and challenged by what you read, and alongside that hope hovers my fear that these musings will fail to capture your interest. Of course, I am not alone in this regard. Most creators fight searing feelings of inadequacy even as their passions drive them to risk reinventing themselves and their work again and again. More
Recently, I rented a movie about the painter Jackson Pollock. Ed Harris directs and stars in this masterful rendering of both the pain and genius of the postwar artist’s life and work. Upon viewing Pollock’s deceptively simple paintings for the first time, many have exclaimed: “That’s art?!! My three year old could do that!”
As the movie unfolds, we witness how creative work that might be dismissed as “unsophisticated” is actually the product of a deeply complex process. A powerful scene, in which the artist accidentally knocks over a can of paint, dramatizes Pollock’s discovery of his trademark painting technique known as “drip.” It is his reaction to the mishap that defines him as a creator. More
Welcome to the first post in my all-new blog, Wild Ideas … musings for the mind, food for the soul. After taking a long break from writing a monthly column, Wild Ideas has been reborn as a blog AND a book.
If you’re a new reader, I invite you to search this site and make yourself at home. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. For those of you who have been long-time supporters, it will come as big news that my book Wild Ideas: Creativity from the Inside Out is now available for order on Amazon. More