I’ve been asked to do a Creative Writing session for the Janki Foundation. They are a group who work towards instilling values into the parts of the health care system that they come into contact with. The people have (or are retired from) jobs such as psychologists, doctors, therapists and as such are, as I perceive it, highly educated and savvy in the ways of life. I’m a little bit intimidated by the thought of bringing my type of irreverant humour to the table.
Here’s the information I’ve been given:
A Creative Writing session for the Janki Foundation lasting for one hour.
Audience: some are members of the Steering Group associated with JF projects.
It’s the 25th anniversary coming up, and the meeting is partly to discuss and plan for this (the theme will be Care, Share & Inspire).
Okay, I’m not intimidated. I’m a little terrified. I mean, what possible value can I bring to the lives of these people? What can I teach or show them that they don’t already know? What do I have to offer?
At this point, I could really start to psyche myself out. I only have to think about the one who laughs at my every pronouncement as if she’s been insulted/outraged/disgusted/amused (tick all the apply (they all do)) to get the shivers. Then there’s the one whose every sentence starts with a drawn out ‘well …’, as she’s going to refute what I just said with some deep learning from her decades of listening to mental incompetents from her black, leather psychotherapist charir. Then there’s the one who just looks at me down her nose.
Or I could just be myself, brilliance and all. I can, when I want to be, rather funny in an offbeat kind of a way. And I can thicken my skin on demand; at least for long enough to get me through sixty minutes. And I have a quick and inventive mind. I also have loads of books on how to write creatively. And I’ve done plenty of creative writing sessions before and got some really great feedback. People tend to like me, for whatever unfathomable reasons they have, and so I can use that to my advantage.
All I have to do now is figure out what to do for that hour. Here are some ideas I’ve thought of:
Have them relate a story by going around the room getting the next person to carry on (with a sentence or two) from the last person. I could write it down, but that would slow the pace somewhat so I wonder if anyone there knows shorthand (and would be willing to help). Of course, I could pick a suitable theme and set up preconditions for the story.
Suggest melding the things they know with principles from disciplines they (presumably) know little about (such as electrical engineering, astrophysics, woodworking or three-dimensional printing technology) and tell a story from that perspective. I’ve know this to inspire creative responses because it takes them out of their comfort zones and encourages them to be fresh. It can also inspire resistance, which, of course, I’ll overcome with humour.
Mess with their minds by telling half the room that it will be a very easy experience and telling the other half that it will be bone-crunchingly difficult. Doesn’t really solve what I want them to write, but it’ll be fun.
Imagine that you’re writing up a case-study and a supernatural being (angel/devil/alien/monster/prophet/deity) appears and offers to answer all their questions about life, the universe and everything. Write that conversation.
Put yourself on the couch and ask yourself all the questions you would ask a patient. Write that dialogue.
Write a letter to who you were in your last birth.
Another idea I have.
And something else I thought of.
There’s more, but it’s late and so I’ll have stop here. I’ll be required to add to this list before next weekend, though, because that’s when it all kicks off. Wish me luck. Yeah, I know; I won’t need it. Wish it anyway.
Just thought of a great idea for a new business: Cat Services.
The idea is that people want somewhere warm and comfortable in their domicile to park their butt and read and eat crisps and/or chocolate
Cats naturally gravitate towards places that are warm, safe, comfortable and curious, so why not put these two things together!
The idea is for people to hire a cat for a day and let it roam around looking for the best places to crash. Once that’s done, the cats on its way home and the customer is then free to take advantage of its illustrious advice.
Of course, there will be a small fee involved, enough to keep the cat in snacks and the business owner in… well, whatever they want!
I tend to go through life thinking that it owes me a living whilst wondering why people don’t just love me for who I am.
This attitude of mine is, not surprisingly, one of the reasons why I don’t progress as far as I could in my chosen fields of endeavour.
This attitude stops me from doing what I know I need to do in order to get on in life.
I need to change my attitude. I need to stop expecting people to be satisfied with the ten per cent I put into them and the ninety per cent I put into myself. I need to do what I know, in my heart, needs to be done in order to achieve what needs to be achieved.
Most people tell you what they want. You don’t have to be a genius to listen to them. Most people will tell you again if you ask them, even if they’ve told you a million times already. People are, in this way, kind. So listen to them.
Unless, of course, you’re happy with being the selfish person you’ve always been. That could work too. So long as you really are happy. Really.
Okay, so we argue. Hey, doesn’t everyone? Mostly I argue with logic. Surprise, surprise, this doesn’t work. The argument escalates and nothing is resolved.
Yesterday, because I didn’t want to waste time arguing, I gave in. I conceded that all her points were correct (even though, logically, they weren’t) and, AS IF BY FREAKING MAGIC, the argument stopped. Her face lost that sulky expression that it generally has when we argue and, moments later, she cracked a joke! Life resumed and all was good.
Later on, she thanked me for ‘coming from love’. I clarified that she meant regarding the argument. She did.
So here’s my takeaway point: she equates giving in to love. If only I’d have known that. Sheesh. I mean, where’s the manual for this stuff and which page is that on?
You might remember me mentioning, a couple of weeks back, the traffic-fume stink that accompanied my return from a holiday spent jetting around Southern Europe. I put the smell down to bad karma.
I’ve just returned from a holiday in the South of England during which I boarded zero jets. Since then my karma has improved markedly. Now, whenever I have the need to cross a road, I look left and right and see … absolutely no traffic on the road whatsoever!
It’s actually quite a spooky thing to experience the roads suddenly become empty as soon as I want to cross. I mean, I’m pretty sure that cars were whizzing by before (and after) that point in time, don’t what gives?
Like I said before, the only thing I can put it down to is good karma and, you know what – long may it continue! All I need to do is stay away from those jets, right?
It’s funny (peculiar) how often the cure for something is the opposite of what I feel like doing.
Like, for example, when I’m tired (not sleepy) then the thing that makes me feel less tired is not, as you might suppose, sitting around doing nothing more than binge watching Friends (other tv series are available) whilst binge eating my way down a family size bar of chocolate / bag of tortilla chips / bucket of Haagen‑Dazs (tick all that apply).
No, my friend, what will pep me right up is doing something useful like sweeping (or vacuuming) the floor, washing my socks and underwear (and anything else that needs washing) or getting some exercise by walking around the corner (outside) to see how far it is to the nearest tree (optionally, hug it).
I can think of other examples but I guess you can too. If you don’t feel like doing so, then have a stab at guessing what might take you past that feeling into a better space. Yep, you got it. 😃
Hello all you creative people out there. What do you eat, please? There must surely be foods that make the brain work better and produce ideas more freely. What are those foods?
I was thinking about acid or magic mushrooms but surely there are better options that are less dehabilitating to normal living. I was thinking about coffee but probably that’s more fot keeping a person awake than generating novel ideas. I was thinking about sugar, because glucose (or something like it) is the fuel that the brain uses to function, but that doesn’t really give any guarantees about the formation of creative ideas.
So, yeah – what do you use to generate new ideas? I’d love to know. Meanwhile, I’ll just carry on doing the best that I can on pizza and chocolate.