A Whack on the Side of the Head, Anne LaMott, bleak unspeakable stuff, blogging, books, creative writing, Creativity teacher, discovering connections, graveyards, habitual, Heraclitus, inspiration, phenomena, philosopher, poet, prophet, questioning assumptions, Roger von Oech, source of inspiration, writers, writing groups
I’m new to blogging I’ve only posted seven times. I’m trying to share my experiences with writing groups. It’s been nice to see there are people following me and liking what I write. As I looked over my site I saw that there were several messages that had gone to my spam. I decided to look at them and was surprised to find they were all from those who encouraging me to seek a bigger audience. It got me wondering if in the world of blogger-hood out there if you have found a promoter you have faith in and who has helped you get wider recognition. I would really like to see some comments on this.
I was going to talk about starting a writing group but because I’ve already strayed from that subject I instead will share what my current group did this week. Our subject matter was books that inspire.
At the top of my list is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, again and again I go to it. With lines like: “We write to expose the unexposed. If there is one door in the castle you have been told not to go through, you must. Otherwise, you’ll just be rearranging furniture in rooms you’ve already been in. Most human beings are dedicated to keeping that one door shut. But the writer’s job is to see what’s behind it, to see the bleak unspeakable stuff, and to turn the unspeakable into words—not just into any words but if we can, into rhythm and blues.”
The days discussion was interesting ranging from books about writing that have inspired us to the fact that even a graveyard can serve as a source for inspiration. We have to seek inspiration and it will find us if we are that blank page ready to be written on.
Another book that I find a source of inspiration is A Whack of the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech. He compels us to be creative by looking at things differently, to step outside the box or stand up on your desk and get a different view. He says he says, “…he never ceases to provide me with creative insight. Indeed, if creative thinking involves imaging things in a fresh light, questioning assumptions, and discovering connection among various phenomena, then I believe Heraclitus is the world’s first ‘creativity teacher.’ …Over the centuries, Heraclitus has earned nicknames such as the ‘Riddler’ and the ‘Enigmatic one.’ Indeed his use of metaphor and paradox makes him sound more like a poet or religious prophet that a philosopher. His style—similar to a Zen teacher’s paradoxical koan or a Delphic Oracle’s ambiguous pronouncement—is designed to ’whack’ us out of our habitual thought patterns so we can look at what we are doing in a fresh way.”
Makes me think I need to read more about Heraclitus and see if I can meet the challenge not only to think but to change the way I think.
It was apparent that the writing group inspires as a new member related how we were invading his bedroom. Words were rambling through his head and he was seeing how they sat on his tongue. His regret is that he is a winter visitor and soon must leave us. We will miss him too and the others who only spend the winter months herein the land of sunshine.
So inspiration can be found in many places. Maybe just the right WHACK gets us to that place.