Thursday, June 14, 2018

On Creating Something from Nothing

Kameron Hurley's new LOCUS essay, "On Patience, Goal-Setting, and Gardening," meditates on the analogies between pushing to finish and edit a book and transmuting three "dead city lots" into a garden. Both kinds of creative activities, she says, are "about transforming a vision in my mind into something tangible that others can see":

On Patience

The essay focuses on the tension between two concepts, the power of imagination and the hard fact that imagination alone can't produce anything without patience, perseverance, and a lot of often frustrating work. And this time-consuming work "costs you other opportunities." She's reminding us that we have to really want our goal strongly enough to exercise the "patience" mentioned in her title. To avoid getting overwhelmed by the scope of the work lying ahead, we should focus on accomplishing the project "a piece at a time."

I'm reminded of the familiar saying about the nature of genius—10 percent inspiration, 90 percent perspiration.

Two of the best lines:

"It’s the ability to envision something that doesn’t exist, that, perhaps, makes us believe in the act of creation."

"I’m creating something from nothing but thought."

No wonder Dorothy Sayers in her book on the Trinity, THE MIND OF THE MAKER, chose the analogy of creative artists (especially writers) to structure her exploration of that theological concept.

Margaret L. Carter

Carter's Crypt

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