So I’m going to make a small presentation at the Writers League of Texas’s Agents/Editors Conference June 22-24. I told the league I would talk about the care and feeding of writers.

In among discussions of marketing trends, online presence, pitching to an agent for 10 minutes, I want to talk about the care and feeding of creativity,  the delicacy of creativity, which can skitter away when it is commanded to perform.  Psychologist Abraham Maslow says all creativity comes from safety.

I’m going to try to remind writers to nurture their creativity, which is at the core of everything they do, but which gets forgotten or marginalized. We’ll be talking about muses, morning pages, artist’s dates, negative reinforcement, and discipline. Next time, I’ll tell you what I said……

What do you say?

10 responses to “care

  1. I say I wish I could be there, too, but I’m committed to my husband’s creative endeavors that weekend. All my best to you and other Alpiners of 2011 who gather in Austin for the conference.

  2. I can hardly wait to hear how you nurture creativity. When I had read your article about the maze, I had been surprised to think that I had not been in a maze since I was writing in a chronological timeframe, little realizing the maze that I really had been in after all. So you taught me a lesson in understanding. Hopefully, I will benefit from your nurturing creative thoughts as well. I remember a woman whose last name was Shanley. She taught us about the Nine Muses, believed everyone in the class deserves an A just for trying…so we all got A’s. We tried. She did produce a poem from me, an extended metaphor, which I found to my dismay she did publish in a book. It was entitled Windhorse. Or that was the subject. I recognized it when I read it but did not receive a mention about my name as the poet…what lessons we learn from our professors! I have not attempted to write much poetry since but that was quite good if I say so myself. I think we all hate to write compulsive assignments but in the end we produce. Somewhere within each and every person is a bit of creative thought…finding it and cultivating is something else again!

  3. I am wondering what the definition of ‘safety’ is because I can’t imagine that all creativity comes from safety. maybe a better way to understand this is knowing the definition of ‘creativity’.. I don’t get this one. I would think safety would make one complacent and not creative. Not being safe could be very stimulating and spur creativity?

  4. Oh I love “skitter away when commanded to perform”. So true. So so true…Maybe I just need to play…Dither…

  5. Doreen raises an interesting question……I think safety means that no one is going to judge what you’re doing creatively…..because acts of creativity are risky….the acts themselves take daring and courage to get past inner demons of doing whatever it is right…….so I think of safety as being the atmosphere, an inner atmosphere actually…….

    • Karleen- I am wondering if Picasso felt safe or Van Gogh maybe a better example I guess that is why your blogs are so fascinating to someone like me who has ideas but can’t bring them to life. I know what I would like to see in art but I can’t create it. I know the kinds of stories I like to read but cannot write them. It all seems so easily done from the outside looking in. To know that you struggle to create makes me feel better about my lack of ability. Do your stories satisfy you in a way that if you hadn’t written them you would hope someone else had?.

  6. Dunya’s comment……perhaps it’s about treating the process, even though there is a goal….such as a novel… play…..allowing for play and hiking down unknown trails in the midst of it…….

  7. When I read “all creativity comes from safety” I resonated with the safe feeling of having enough money, not worrying, feeling the joy of life that comes when you’re not struggling about where/how you’re going to live. Also the feeling of safety that comes from having relationships that you can depend on, deep connection.

    When those things are solid for me, yes, my creativity soars – because the worries are not blocking the spirit within. The creativity blossoms when there is space and energy for it.

    And I agree that there’s also the essence of “inner safety” – feeling so comfortable with yourself and your knowing that the creativity can’t help but come out, because it is so totally who you are. You are safe from the judgements or perceptions of others because that doesn’t matter – your truth within is the basis for any creation – in art or life.

    Looking forward to hearing how the talk goes, and other thoughts!
    Thanks for sharing –

  8. Pingback: Care3 | Karleen Koen — writing life

  9. Pingback: care6 | Karleen Koen — writing life

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