LUCY BELLWOOD LIKES YOUR BOAT
|Comics, nonsense, and other irregularities by America's one and only dual citizen, tall ship-sailing cartoonist!|
I don’t believe in writer’s block. Yes, there may have been days or even weeks at a time when I have not written — even when I may have wanted to — but that doesn’t mean I was blocked. It simply means I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or, as I’d like to argue, exactly the right place at the right time.
The creative process has more than one kind of expression. There’s the part you could show in a movie montage — the furious typing or painting or equation solving where the writer, artist, or mathematician accomplishes the output of the creative task. But then there’s also the part that happens invisibly, under the surface. That’s when the senses are perceiving the world, the mind and heart are thrown into some sort of dissonance, and the soul chooses to respond.
That response doesn’t just come out like vomit after a bad meal. There’s not such thing as pure expression. Rather, because we live in a social world with other people whose perceptual apparatus needs to be penetrated with our ideas, we must formulate, strategize, order, and then articulate. It is that last part that is visible as output or progress, but it only represents, at best, 25 percent of the process.
Real creativity transcends time. If you are not producing work, then chances are you have fallen into the infinite space between the ticks of the clock where reality is created. Don’t let some capitalist taskmaster tell you otherwise — even if he happens to be in your own head."
Storytelling isn’t about the scale of the suffering. It’s about what the suffering means, the opportunity it provides for understanding something new about this human condition, the window into another’s humanity. A therapist once said to me, addressing my outrage at having to feel all these, uch, feelings, that pain is information.
“Just like physical pain tells you not to touch a hot stove,” she said, “emotional pain is there to teach us what’s good and bad for us, what feeds us and what depletes us, what needs attention, what needs work.”
In other words, without it, we wouldn’t know what anything meant.
So, we write about it and create art from it in an attempt to share and connect over that meaning. It’s how we progress. It’s how we grow. It’s what keeps us from living in isolated darkness and confusion."