What is your creative mission?
To be of maximum service to humanity through self-expression.
What do you love about what you do?
The initial rush of creating something that didn’t exist before me, creating something that a real person connects with, so that through creation of an imaginary world I’ve improved the real world.
What have you learned from your successes/ failures?
I’ve become open to learning any kind of lesson from any kind of person, regardless of who or how or what I think about that person.
How do you keep pushing ahead after a difficult challenge?
I visualize a version of myself without the personal flaws that created the challenge every morning before I start my day, and affirm within that such a version of myself is worth striving for.
Have you ever encountered resistance from family, friends, or the world in general? How did you overcome those kinds of blocks?
I have been homeless, mandated to psychiatric treatment, housed in a foster home for the mentally and physically disabled, accosted in a housing project, slept in a flophouse with junkies and drunks – all after earning advanced degrees in writing. The solution was geographic – I went from a place where I was mad to have visions to a place where having visions is seen as necessary for success – I moved from my hometown to New York City and that cliche saved my life.
How has your art and creativity healed you?
Art has made me sick more often than it has healed; I have lived in fantasy worlds that started out as fiction and been tortured by hallucinations that started out as sketches. The difference between art that sickens and art that heals is whether it comes from a place of love – if you love everything in your creation like the family you wish you had. The writer Colum McCann once told me in a class that I took from him in graduate school that your characters have to have your heart. He also said that writing is about breaking hearts, that anything else is just fucking around. I would agree – it is by breaking my own heart through art that I learned how to heal myself.
What are your NFA Bullet points? What steps would you recommend for anyone who wants to kick some ass and get their creative dreams off the ground?
– Develop a daily meditation or devotional routine
– Integrate your creative process into that routine
– Set a measurable, reachable goal for that routine
– Repeat the routine until the project is complete
Hey you. Wanna share your wisdom? Answer the 7questions of Creativity here.