Hungry for the Sound of my own Music

This is one of my favorite blog posts from last year and the impetus for Opening The Creative Channel, my weekend workshop with Andrea Scher of Superhero Life.    Last year David Bowie put out a new record, which is a big deal in the music industry. The man is 67-years-old, a legend, a huge rock star. I’d heard an interview with a member of his band a few days before the record launched, and the interviewer asked, “What earlier record is this new one like?” I found myself hoping he’d say The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust or Hunky Dory – two of my favorite Bowie records from the 70’s. But this band member only said that it was the best record Bowie had ever made.   So when the album came out on iTunes, I checked it out, hoping to hear songs that would take me back to 1976 and tanning by the pool in Palm Springs with my friend Marcie. Those were some days. I was 16 years old, had long brown hair, and wore bikinis. Boys liked me and I loved music, a doorway into a rich place full of feelings that I couldn’t yet articulate, but which I knew promised me access to a deeper part of myself.   But when I listened to this new album, I didn’t hear anything resembling the Bowie I had loved. Instead I heard the crooning stuff he’s been putting out in the last few years – not my cup of tea.   Here’s the thing: I don’t know what Bowie was thinking when he put out the...

Finding Me Some Outgoing Guts and Imagination

“Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Sylvia Plath Wow. You go Sylvia Plath. And here I was all set to write a piece on how I was struggling to find an authentic voice in my blog. That might surprise people who know me. I teach folks how to find their authentic voice on paper – so if anyone should have one packed and ready to roll out for a weekly blog it would be me. Not so. When I’m with my Wild Writing students four days a week I write really honest, messy stories about my relationships, sexuality, addiction, aging, all the things I long for and struggle with. I show up naked and full of those unseemly thigh dimples. I think that’s why I have so many writers who come back and work with me year after year; I put myself on the line and model the kind of authentic writing that Wild Writing is all about. And when I forget how to do it, my students take the lead. Together we create a world where imagination and guts is golden, the thing we reach for. But the blog isn’t a room full of women who I’ve been writing with for months. I have no idea who is reading this, but moreover, I’ve been confused about what to share. My website and my more public persona is that of a writing teacher, but that’s just a slice of who I am. How do I find that middle...
Superheros!

Superheros!

Andrea Scher’s Superhero Interview with Laurie Wagner is right here! So cool! So fun! What I value most in a person is honesty and authenticity, and so I aim for that as best I can. But it’s more than just a set of values, the truth is, I simply can’t tolerate the lie or the half-truth inside of me. If I’ve kept something from you, eventually it will come out. I must purge it or I can’t sleep. And this propensity to tell the truth reveals itself all over my life – in writing classes, at dinner parties, in relationships, good god – sometimes in professional meetings with strangers. That doesn’t always go so well. I can’t help myself. I tell the awkward truth, I point to the elephant in the room, I confess. And when I do this, when I take the first risk and sacrifice myself like that, what often ends up happening is that it changes the air in the room and people start telling the truth and taking risks around me. This going first business seems to have the effect of making it safe for people because it shows them how big the territory of our connection is, and it turns whatever space I’m in – a classroom – a dinner party – into a much more interesting and soulful experience because we all wade into deeper waters. read more…   share this...