Showing Up

“Chicken Connection”

“Chicken Connection”

I think it was Hemingway who said that the most important thing for a writer is the “pants seat in the chair seat.” You can’t write or paint if you don’t show up.

I was looking through a recent writer’s almanac, and found this: tell your subconscious you will meet her at the studio at 10. Then honor it. She may get some work done ahead of time (cognitive theorists call this Incubation). They suggest we ask her a question then forget about it with our conscious mind.

After a while, ideas, questions, answers or ways to play with this idea may come to you at odd moments (in the shower, as you nap in the afternoon, or on a walk). That’s why the Google Corporation headquarters has plenty of couches for people to lie around and muse on. I don’t know if they have showers, but maybe they should.

Do you take time to just wonder about things? Do you use a journal to scribble and muse? Do you carry notecards with you so that you can write down creative ideas or questions to yourself throughout the day?

Here are some muse-questions of mine:

  • If a person had two heads, how would they decide what movie to go to?

  • How would I paint something invisible, like a secret or a ghost or a memory, or the feeling of a garden in the morning?

  • What do I really want to paint?

Have fun, keep at it, stay wacky, and show up!