Saturday, September 13, 2008

Wild Woman of Queens: Notes on Urban Creativity from across the East River.

Wild Woman of Queens: Notes on Urban Creativity from across the East River.

Sandra Lee Schubert


I was fascinated by a man who had the word Perseverance prominently etched on the inside of his forearm. It was simple in design and lacked any color. But it was there for him to see. When in doubt just persevere.

The subway is my movable muse. It is living theater. I have written about it before. I will write often about what I see on the subway. Creativity has many faces. It takes many forms. I watched a young man writing in an over sized journal. He had taken a large spiral sketchbook and was using it to write in a large scrawl across its vast pages. He was completely absorbed in his works, going back and forth between pages, pondering, thinking and writing again. Eric Maisel writes about a man sitting on a park eating and writing equally entranced with the words before from his wellspring. We may never know if what they wrote was any good. But, it doesn't matter.

What matters really is that they were involved intimately, passionately with their creativity. Nothing was going to get in the way of their moment of inspiration. I don't know about you but it has been a long time since I had that kind of inspiration. I sometimes wait. It is not the kind of waiting that allows something to gurgle up. It is the kind of waiting that has permission attached to it. I am waiting for inspiration to come and find me. I want it to seek me out- hand me a letter, send me an email, write my book for me. I could be waiting a very long time. The kind of inspiration that has you drop everything to follow is a wonderful and intoxicating time but it comes like a thief in the night when you least expect it. It does not come on command.

I have been reading Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper (Gifting the World with Your Words and Stories and Creating the Time and Energy to Actually DO It) by Sark. She writes that she creates each of her books by hand. Writing them out at least four times, approximately one thousand pages in all. She also creates her covers and the art for her books. Each book takes about eight months to complete, fourteen in all.

Do you have that kind of patience or perseverance? Maybe not.That doesn't mean you can't develop it one creative step at a time. If you are waitng for the muse to whisper in your ear you might as well plug in your IPod. We all have to seek out our muse- working each and every day to develop the skill sets that allows us to be the creators in our lives. Take inspiration from Sark and have fun with your craft and let art flow freely from you. Take pen to paper and write. The muse is waiting.

Sandra Lee Schubert is a creative vagabond, a poet, writer and dabbler in the arts and online entrepreneur. She co-facilitates the Wild Angels Poets and Writers Group at the historic Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. She is also the creator of the e-course, Writing for Life: Creating a Story of Your Own. Visit her blog or email her at or @writing4life via twitter.

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