Montgomery Clift asked Clark Gable how he would approach his role in the Misfits. Gable replied: “I bring to it everything I have been, everything I am, and everything I hope to be.”
That is what we do when we write, or when we create anything. We bring all that we are in the moment to our endeavor. We can do nothing else, so it behooves us to believe in ourselves and what we have to offer. The better we know ourselves, honestly and with acceptance of the whole–even those parts that make us cry–the better and clearer we can write. The better we can live and leave something of value.
An artist is a sensitive creature. ~Julia Cameron on Twitter
“You’re too sensitive,” is commonly said in our society. I was told this often by people close to me. I grew up believing it a flaw. I felt shame and tried to eradicate the sensitivity. Thank goodness I could not fully succeed. Today I know the statement for the rot that it is. I know that it is important to honor the wonderful, magnificent sensitivity I have been given. In a world gone so very cold, we sensitive people need to shine and light the way in the darkness, and sometimes it is out of our own darkness.
A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. ~Franz Kafka, tweeted by Chad Hofmann. Reportedly from a letter from Kafka to his friend Max Brod.
Kafka was obviously sensitive, and honest about himself.
See article at Wikipedia
I’ve done a post of the movie Harvey before, but here I am again. I’m a classic movie fan, and a small collector of vintage movie posters and lobby cards. In my inbox today was the newsletter from Conway’s Vintage Treasures, featuring a rare jewel: a full vintage movie poster for the 1950 film Harvey, staring Jimmy Stewart.
Are you familiar with this old classic? I’ve watched it possibly fifty times throughout my life. I can remember some of the dialog when I watch, yet I invariably find some new nuance. My writer fantasy would be to be the author of the story. The real author was Mary Chase, who wrote the play upon which the movie was based and that also stared Jimmy Stewart. Then she got billing on writing the screen adaptation, too.
Of course I had to go look up Mary Chase. I find such inspiration from reading the stories of writers who write the unforgettable stories that make my heart soar. Mary Chase was a writer in the days when writers worked hard. (Reading about her made me wonder what she ate, or did she swill bottles of Geritol?) It took her 2 years to write the play of Harvey, and she reportedly found the writing quite difficult. I can imagine her crying in frustration, but returning to the typewriter and tablet again and again. Maybe something wanted that story written.
Imagine taking that amount of time today to write a story? And you know she had no idea if it would sell, much less be a booming success. She had to have written from the love of writing. From the desire to say something, and oh, Harvey says a lot, and makes one smile. I imagine if Mary Chase had never made the effort, and I shudder. My world would have quite a hole in it.
Mary Chase persevered and Harvey was written. It opened on Broadway in November of 1944 and captivated a war-weary crowd, even if the play version was supposedly a lot darker than the movie. It was a smash hit. The movie debuted in 1950. So long ago, but it is a timeless tale, as pertinent to life today as it was then.
You can read my other post about Harvey, entitled The Wisdom of Elwood P. Dowd, here.
Thank you, Mary Chase.
My job, like all artists, is to hang in there and keep working. ~ Julia Cameron
Life interrupt-ous happened. One project was finished and everyday life came with that big sucking vacuum of demands and emergencies, and off I flew in a million directions. Days went by and I did not work on any dedicated writing project. The more days I did not work on a project, the more I didn’t write at all, even in my journal. Left un-nurtured, the writer in me withered, and frustration grew.
The phrase dedicated writing project jumps out at me. I have a number of project ideas calling. But I avoid choosing. Waiting for solitary time, which is in short supply right now. What I need is to take the time. Waiting for a certainty of direction on which project. This is a seeking of perfection and certainty of success. Waiting for energy, always in short supply. With the work will come energy.
Just pick a project. Begin. Hang in there and work everyday. There is no guarantee of results, but there is absolute guarantee of satisfaction in soul with the work.
Today I choose a project. All I need do is open a file, jot notes on paper. Begin and keep on writing. The writing itself is the purpose, the nurturing of my life.