Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Chaos and creativity
It is humbling to get such heartfelt responses from women who are often arguably a lot further along in their creative careers than I am, but for whom the book still struck a nerve. It is also especially gratifying to hear from readers who tell me that the book was what enabled them keep hold of that elusive creative thread when everything else in their lives was telling them to give up and let it go.
Most recently, I got an email from painter (and mother of five!) Jasmine Mansbridge, who after reading The Divided Heart shared her "thoughts on being an artist and a parent" on her blog.
She writes there about how a lack of time for art creates a kind of urgency that ends up driving greater productivity. It is such a potent fantasy -- that idea of having endless time rolling out in front of you to create without disruption or distraction. And yet, even at times when my creative frustrations are through the roof, I know that if I had all the time in the world for writing and drawing, I would likely only freeze under the pressure. You'd just find me down at the local cafe drinking my tenth coffee and pretending to myself it was all part of the process...
As my kids have gotten older, I can now look back and see what an incredibly fruitful time those early years with small children were for art. Yes -- manic and exasperating, but also intense and rich and full in all the right ways.
Thank you to everyone who has written to me (especially those who I may have neglected to respond to -- that includes the reader who wrote me a particularly long and gut-wrenching letter in an envelope I threw out before realising that it meant I'd lost the return address -- I have felt terrible about this ever since!). Your words mean a lot.