Lately, I've been thinking a lot about writer's block. (Thinking being the operative word here, because the thing about having writer's block is that you can't really write about it.) Is it a real thing? That's my biggest question. It's entirely different than this question: does it feel real— which I can go ahead and confirm right now that yes, it does.
I like to look at some of the ways my favorite writers, filmmakers, etc. approach their work, so I can try to emulate their habits and hopefully (one day) have an admirable creative output of my own. I've found the most common thread is consistency. For instance, in The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp recommends forming a ritual around your creative practice. For her, that’s making coffee and watching the sun rise. She says,
“Writers all devise ways to approach that place where they expect to make the contact, where they become the conduit, or where they engage in this mysterious process. For me, light is the signal in the transition. It’s not being in the light, it’s being there before it arrives. It enables me, in some sense.”
My process is a little different. If Twyla's is called "ritual," then mine is called, "chaos." It goes like this: I wait until my head is swirling with half-finished ideas and a feeling of guilt/dread washes over me, so that I can no longer live with myself until I write something. When I feel almost too panicked to write lucidly or even function properly— that's when I become a writing machine. So healthy, right?
Anyway, as we enter a new season, I've been rethinking this approach that obviously works so well for me. Little by little, I'm trying to inject some consistency into my life by reserving a few mornings out of the week just to write for an hour or two. We'll see how it goes, but I'm hoping to discover that writer's block isn't all that real if I have the right process in place.
The cherry blossoms in the photo above are from the Hollywood Farmer's Market as are the navel oranges and these gorgeous heads of cabbage. Springtime in Los Angeles doesn't tend to feel all that meaningful, since we aren't really craving the catharsis of sunshine and a forgiving breeze after a long, hard winter. I do, however, look forward to all the good produce that's about to hit the markets. Adam and I had fun browsing the Hollywood Farmer's last weekend, and dreaming about what we'll cook this spring/summer.
My photography class has been consistently pushing me to look at my subjects with an open mind. Learning to drop my assumptions about what might work in a photograph and concentrate on finding the essence of my subject matter has been an interesting exercise. If you know of any pineapples that need a headshot, please give me a call.
You know that awkward moment when someone calls you out on never having done that iconic thing for which your city is famous? I’m pretty sure that happens to Angelenos all the time... or I need to get out more.... probably both.
The Griffith Observatory is one of those places, and we tend to avoid it because of the tourists and the parking issues. When our family came to visit all the way from Israel, though, we had the perfect excuse to go. Maybe it was being with our awesome cousins or seeing the observatory through the eyes of their two little kids, but I was able to drop my skepticism about visiting such a touristy place and appreciate Griffith's beautiful architecture and iconic view.
We ended our tour of LA with our cousins on Hollywood Boulevard. Cliché? Yes. Iconic? Also, yes. In my eyes, there's a tradeoff. Sure, the Boulevard has a bit of a crushed-hopes-of-stardom vibe and is totally chaotic— but the kids took a picture with Iron Man and the art deco architecture and neon lights really are stunning when you take a moment to appreciate them. See what I mean about dropping that skepticism? Okay, LA, you win this one.