Charles Bukowski, who is one of my favorite poets, was adamant that the writing should burst out without coercion or commercial ambition.
His advise to writers was simply: “Don’t Try”. He went on to say, “That’s very important: not to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more.”
Well, I have taken his advice to heart. When I finished my book tour in mid May, I personally gave myself a self-imposed sabbatical for a few months. This decision was primarily because I wanted to give myself the space to be creative without the added pressure of being productive. How many times have we all felt so guilty of spending time on a hobby or doing what we love because we feel that we need to be “working” on a project somehow? I am certainly guilty of that!
In many ways, the past few months have been a real gift as I have the luxury of reading so many books, going to galleries and talks, and letting my natural curiosity lead me in creative process.
Although I have had no specific agenda in my readings, I seem to keep reading biographies. This is not done out of habit for my work, but because I am endlessly fascinated by people’s lives. Interestingly enough, I am piecing together interesting overlaps and coincidences in the lives of the people I am reading about…. Yes, yes, I think to myself that these discoveries will somehow percolate into a definitive book of some sort, but for now, I am letting the creative process take its course.
Indeed, if there is one thing I have learned about myself during this time is that the real joy in my work lies in the process of discovery itself. The rest is the by-product!
Happy Summer to everyone!