Very interesting. I'd heard of the freakish success book but haven't read it. Maybe I'll just read the doomed-to-failure follow-up instead just so it's not overlooked!
I think she gets it a bit wrong about only creative arts people being doomed to misery and drinking and depression though. Did you see the documentary that the Eels guy made about his physicist father Hugh Everett? He was the same – one great theory…(except no-one recognised it as that to begin with)…and then just drinking himself to death. It does affect scientists too (and people in all walks of life…I feel it as much about how I parent my daughter as about my writing, I think). It is an obsession with one type of success.
As for mysteries and genius and all that…I quite like what she says about that. I have a poem about the subject called 'The mystery retained'. I bet you have one too!
Thanks Rachel. On another matter altogether, would you give me some feedback on the blog. When is it good when is it boring? I'd be really interested to know. Is it easy to give comment etc etc
OK – I'll email you.
Wow! What a brilliant talk. Thanks for posting it, says so much that needed saying.
She's so right about showing up to do your job, to do the work that needs to be done, and letting the magic happen.
It can take years to learn that, as there is so much mystique and b.s around the arts that it's easy for people to get wrong ideas about the creative process.
And I agree with Rachel Fox's point that creative scientists and people in other walks of life also suffer with depression etc, absolutely. The point about mothering/parenting is right too. I've always thought that was a creative process which usually goes unrecognized, and like art the reward has to be doing the job well, doing it for the love of it.
There is however a difficulty that is specific to people who are artists who have an innate need to explore being alive through creativity in that they can be stymied by a society intent on placing a monetary value on everything! That is depressing and soul destroying.
In terms of the supernatural, magical, ole! moments, well I've often had a feeling that there's something intangible in creativity like 'this is not about us' which sounds weird I know. It's as though it's pointing to a more than, a spiritual essence that is actually as abundant as air but needs art to give it form.
I've come to realize that this is almost a happenstance, it's not the reason for making art, it's something that comes as a consequence of the work, and that is liberating.
Hello, i really enjoyed listening to this especially the part where she describes the poem travelling through the ether to the woman who has to catch it before it goes….. i hope its ok but i have put it on my blog too. thankyou 🙂 juliette
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