Maybe one of the most wonderful parts of submitting questions to Claire about her book “Spin, Taking Your Creativity To The Nth Degree” was experiencing her generosity of spirit. So generous and so gracious that this interview is in two parts. Yesterday’s portion of our “conversation”, our repartee across the sea may be found here. Follow the link to read Part One.
Who wouldn’t want to know more about the soul of a writer, a creative who tells her readers on page 19 that they will find stories, tips, life lessons, and “a heart”. Ah, she had me at page 19. Well maybe before that.
Here are a few of my favorite lines from Claire:
“Creativity needs to be fascinated in the presence of the things it doesn’t quite understand yet or maybe ever.”
“In tenderness creativity finds a texture.”
“Curiosity and creativity need to meet for tea more regularly.”
“Creativity needs to become a child again.”
Ah, Claire in her own words. Do you see now why I wanted to ask questions, to probe deeper and to ask some more “why’s” and “how’s”?
I love pages 150 and 151. This seems like a very helpful and healthy inventory for everyone to take. It seems that a significant part of the book is about being brave and bold, sort of as a sub-plot. Would you agree that being able to push through set-backs, being brave in life is one of the more valuable pieces of the creative puzzle. If so, then this book is even broader than a book on creativity. Is it a book on having a brave spirit? We as readers can extrapolate much from this in our own lives. I would recommend this to anyone, not just one who sees themselves as “creative”. We are all, in fact, aren’t we?
Your question about braveness and boldness really got me very excited. More than anything I wanted this to shine through without being direct about it. The fact that you call it a sub-plot is an honour. Boldness has been the single charachteristic that has taken me very far in life. I get so frustrated with people who speak down on themselves, who makes excuses, who give 1000 reasons why not. Honestly, I sometimes want to shake them and say: “Jump! It’s a hell of a ride (which include a few falls) but your soul will love you for it.”
Doubling back on the idea of memory, memoir and remembering, did you recall things from your younger self from pure memory, or from journalling? You may have addressed this in the book, forgive me if you did. Since story is an important part, and recalling is vital, did you rely on memory. Again, I think for all of us, for anyone, taking stock of “watershed” parts of our lives is important. Interesting how some seemingly “small” events or times end up being “big” and “important”. I am thinking of the chapter on ritual and the sound of the cocoa tin. Did accessing the past take a long time in preparing the book? You may end up addressing that in #1 under the book’s genesis.
I am a very nostalgic person which made the digging and the recalling a very easy process. I did not struggle at all. I asked my mom a few questions through the process to connect some of the vague dots in my mind but for the most, the memories are very vivid in my brain fibres! I am an only child and my parents deliberately chose not to have a TV in the house when I was growing up. That combination makes for a very powerful memory and imagination developer. I had to invent all day long to keep myself occupied. When they eventually bought a TV when I was eleven, I spent a total of 15 minutes in front of it and then went back outside to play because the two dimensional world it presented me with was terribly boring.
What was difficult in the process of recall was finding my younger self’s voice. I kept reverting back to adult tones and I had to be very conscious to write with the voice of a child, recalling through the life of an adult.
Where creativity is found: in that beautiful, brilliant space called being. – Claire Burge, page 39 “Spin”
Even revisiting my own questions and Claire’s answers increases my bold and brave with regard to creativity. As I prepare to tackle my creative projects, namely a poetry chapbook and “another” sort of book, I feel my courage increase and my timidity wane. Maybe one day I will look back and thank Claire for contributing to my own creative tipping point. Maybe one day I will hold “Spin” in my hand, not as a prescriptive or a “how-to” but as a book of encouragement. A book to help me get to the Nth degree of my own creativity. And for each of you, as well.
Creativity needs the edge. I am up on the bike, flying down the drive, through the air, over the edge and into the mess again, and again, and again. – Claire Burge pages 19 and 20 of “Spin”
Thank you Claire. Thank you for taking us to the edge, encouraging us to be brave, for trusting us with your stories, and above all, for showing us your heart. What a fun and wild ride it has been.
Claire’s Bio: Part chaos. Part rocket fuel. I head up the international company Get Organized in Ireland. I take photos of food. I ride a downhill mountain bike. I’m known to bite into life. Straight talking, solution-finding, productivity nerd, and very tech-savvy are some of the terms most widely used to describe me.