One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.
Annie Dillard, The Writing Life & Write Till You Drop
How can we make good in our lives, communities and work? Maybe the answer lies in Pulitzer Prize winning author Annie Dillard’s important thoughts on writing- words that can be applied to just about anything but especially our creative lives. Most of us struggle with abundance and scarcity in some form-worrying that we are, have, and do enough, so we hold back our very best goodness. Imagine if we stopped worrying and just spent it all on each other and ourselves freely, trusting that something better will always take the place of what we give away?
Are we saving goodness for later that we could be spending now? How can we stop holding onto the good stuff & trust that if we give freely and abundantly there will always be enough? Where can we work together to make goodness happen?
One thing I know about Making is that the more I make, the more there is to make. The more I create the ceramics I see in my head, the more ideas I get for more ceramics. It’s almost as if the more I spend out of my “creative bank”, the more creativity gets put back in there. And then, the less I act upon an idea (“I don’t have time/that’s not a good idea/I don’t have the skills”) the less ideas I get. It really is for me, like Julia Cameron says, priming a pump. The more I prime the pump, the more ideas there are. The less I prime the pump, the faster they dry up.
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