My book club recently read Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple and it was pretty hilarious. Bernadette is a woman who has lost her zest for life and become cynical, withdrawn, disinterested, and maybe a little bitter. The story is told through bits and pieces of evidence her daughter Bee collects in an attempt to find her mom after she disappears.
Without spoiling it, here’s my take on the story: When people stop creating whatever it is they were put on earth to create, it makes them go a little bonkers. I believe that the reason we are all here is to create a better world. Each of us is blessed with skills and talents to somehow make a difference with our lives (i.e., create difference).
Due to a series of events, some that Bernadette caused (both intentionally and unintentionally) and others that were not her fault, she stopped creating. And doing that led to the story that unfolds. My description here may make it sound like a heavy book, but that’s not the case. It is totally light and funny – and a quick read.
Becoming creatively plugged-up is far too common. People are busy with their overscheduled obligations, or stuck in unsatisfying jobs, or don’t have the money, or just can’t quite find the time to create, or ____ (fill in your own lame excuse). This book is the story of how not creating can result in some crazy consequences.
Two excellent resources for creative unplugging are The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I participated in an Artist’s Way group earlier this year at my public library. Going through the book as part of a group was a fantastic experience. It is Julia Cameron’s wish that her work and process be freely available and it is in many places. Check for one in your community if you are so inclined.
I also want to do a shout out here to Creative Louisiana – a local and very cool monthly gathering for creative types.
Creation takes so many forms – art, music, writing, gardening, cooking, building, designing, care giving, teaching, sewing, managing, acting, parenting, etc. Make sure to practice your chosen form of creativity regularly.
Would love to know what you think about this idea that we are in this world to create. Share your thoughts in the comment section.
My goal is to write 30 blog posts in 30 days the month of September.