Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Signposts and Guides for the Creative Life

I'm reading Maya Angelou's The Heart of a Woman for a book club.  (This is the fourth volume of her six volume autobiography)  What a life she has led!  She has done everything!  She's seen highs and lows, has suffered and danced.  She admits that she's not the best at some of the things she's done:  she sang and danced for a living and some people said she wasn't the greatest singer.  But people came to see her - she was such an entertainer.  She is often remembered for her poetry - yet she doesn't get great acclaim from "professional" poetry circles.  She took over for Bayard Rustin as the northern coordinator of the SCLC to assist Martin Luther King's efforts.  She had no experience in this kind of thing, but she used her talent for  organizing and her personal charisma to do work that she felt strongly committed to.

This quote of hers made me laugh:  in  talking about what she does to write, she said " I also wear a hat or a very tightly pulled head tie when I write.  I suppose by doing that I will keep my brains from seeping out of my scalp and running great gray blobs down my neck, into my ears and over my face."

I imagine when you've got so many ideas, you're balancing so many activities, that that's about what it feels like when you sit down to concentrate.  And to actually do implement a physical reminder to focus could be useful.

If you've never read any of her works, I would recommend picking one up - she's an engaging writer, who has a good story, an earthy woman you'd like to meet.

1 comment:

  1. Wow what a very graphic quote! LOL! When I have too many ideas, it just keeps me up at night. I go to sleep fine but wake up a couple of hours later with super rapid thoughts spinning in my head. No oozing tho :)