Tag Archives: Creating

Ordinary People – interview with Miriam Drori

As you may know, if you are a regular reader, I am interested in many things – particularly those of a creative nature – and this blog is where I write about writing, people and poetry. So far, you may have read about writing and perhaps you’ve read some poetry, and other random thoughts – some of which you might relate to. For the most part, these thoughts have been about me and/or from my point of view.

I’ve always been interested in people, and what motivates them to do what they do, especially when they do it well. This series of interviews I’ve called Ordinary People, as they are with ‘ordinary’ people I admire for various reasons. For the most part, these people are creative in some way. As I am interested in what motivates them to do what they do and how they do it well, I thought you might be too.

For my first interview, I caught up with Miriam Drori, writer and social anxiety sufferer, as well as the winner of my recent birthday blog competition!

 

 

I already know that you’re a great writer, as your blog and stories show… Are there any other ways in which you like to create?

Ah – no one’s ever called me a great writer before. From now on, you can ask me anything you like….

It’s strange – I never used to think of myself as a creative person. My fiction writing stopped when I didn’t have to write any more essays at school and didn’t start again until I hit upon a story as a way to explain social anxiety. The advantage of fiction, I realised, was that I could attribute feelings to a fictional character that real people wouldn’t admit to. Since then, I have created other stories and discovered that I really do have an imagination.

So, what was your question? Oh yes. I have played the piano and the violin and I have sung in a choir, but I hardly ever do those now and never really thought of them as creative. It wasn’t as if I composed music. I just performed it, not particularly well. I do like to dance and, I suppose, especially when there are no particular steps, that’s creative.

What’s your preferred creative channel?

I love writing and dancing. I also like fried eggs and ice cream. You wouldn’t expect me to choose between them, would you?

What is it about dancing/writing that you enjoy? 

With dancing, I love moving my body to fit the music. I love being watched
doing it, being admired and emulated. I love being relaxed, giving myself up to the music and the dancing, forgetting all the things I usually worry about. With writing, I love forming words to describe a scene or a mood. I love the peacefulness of being alone with my story. I love to concentrate on the story and put all worries aside. Above all, in both cases, I love doing something I know I can do well.

What or who inspires you to create?

For most of my life, I’ve suffered from a disorder I didn’t know about. Discovering the name of it made a huge difference to me. It brought not only ways of dealing with it but also the camaraderie and relief of finding a whole community of others with similar problems, the knowledge that I’m not as weird as I’d thought.

So, what inspired me to begin writing, and also inspires me to continue, is a strong belief that social anxiety must be publicised so that people who suffer from it know about it and so that the rest of the world can have more of an understanding about what it means. I’m also inspired and encouraged by the lovely members of the writing group I attend. And by Gill, whom I wrote about here.

Tell us a bit about living with social anxiety and how this feeds your creativity.

I can answer this question, and all the others, because I can think about them while alone and write down the answers. If you’d asked me this in a face-to-face interview, my mind would have been full of thoughts that would have put me off giving a coherent, sensible answer. Thoughts like; I’m going to make a mess of this, I’m not maintaining eye contact as I should, my mind is blank – I don’t know how to answer, she must think I’m stupid. And so I hum and haw and don’t give a proper answer. Only later, when I’m on my own, when it’s too late, do I think of the answer I should have given. And then I’m cross with myself for not taking the opportunity to explain properly.

That’s a bit about living with social anxiety and also shows why social anxiety is not well known despite being quite common – the very nature of it prevents those who know what it’s like from explaining it.

How does it feed my creativity? As I mentioned before, I began writing in order to explain social anxiety. Also, I write because I’m not good at talking. But I’ve never thought of it in such a positive way before.

Finally, what would you say your values are?

I’ve never had to list them before. So I found a list of 374 values and here are those that I feel apply to me:

Acceptance, Accuracy, Belonging, Confidence, Education, Empathy, Encouragement,Enjoyment, Family, Honesty, Humour, Imagination, Kindness, Making a difference, Peace, Perseverance, Respect, Sympathy and Trust.

Thank you Miriam, for taking the time out to answer my questions! I hope you enjoyed answering them as much as I’ve enjoyed reading them.

Thank you, Rachael, for having me on your blog. I did enjoy answering the questions and discovering something about myself in the process. I look forward to reading the other interviews in the series.

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If you would like to find out more about Miriam, head over to her blog An’ de walls came tumbling down.

I am not… Am I…?

(conclusion of the I am not… series)

“So what was that short ‘I am not’ series all about?” I hear you ask.

“So you’re not a photographer, you’re not a chef and you’re not an artist – so what? What’s the point you’re making here?”

Well, I’m glad you asked. The point was that, although I am not any of these things, that doesn’t mean I can’t give it a go if the fancy takes me. Also, having ‘given something a go,’ I might find I really enjoy it, and want to get better at it. For example, if I decided I wanted to be a professional photographer, I could go and take a course and study and practice until my photos were not just ‘alright,’ but outstanding, award-winning…  You get the picture (no pun intended). In order to get there though, I would need to want it enough.

Sometimes, a skill like photography, or cooking, is a natural talent. Those lucky enough to have been blessed can nuture this talent, or not, depending on their desire.

A while ago, I would not have called myself a writer. My main income did not come from writing (I have since made some progress here), and I have never had any formal training. However, writing for me is not a choice, it’s a calling. I always have, and always will write, and read about writing and write about writing and hopefully continue to improve over time.

So my point is… All the things we are not, are because we choose not to be. We can all do whatever it is we want if we want it enough.

I am a writer. What about you…?

Creative destruction

A while ago, I blogged about my copy of Keri Smith’s book, ‘Wreck this journal,’ and how I had started to wreck it, abandoned it, and then wrecked it again.  Back then, I promised to post evidence of further destruction ‘in due course.’

Well, I got distracted.  However, this week I decided to experiment again with destruction as a form of creation.  So, I got the journal out again, followed some of the instructions, and took some photos.

It wasn’t quite as much fun as kicking it around the garden with a snow covered football, but still.  For me, it’s important to be destructive from time to time, and this is a good way to channel that.  Do you have destructive tendencies?  If so, how do you channel this part of you into your creative work?

Getting back to basics

I have just been over at Dan Goodwin’s blog (also known as Coach Creative), reading his latest post, about starting all over again. Dan asks ‘If tomorrow you lost every single thing you owned, and were given some money to begin your creative life all over again, what 5 things would you buy?’

It got me thinking (which of course was the point), about how many channels I use to create these days. If I had to pick 5 of the things I currently use, they would be (in no particular order):

  1. My Dell notebook
  2. A selection of journals
  3. Several pens ranging from an old bic biro to a mid range fountain pen
  4. A camera (usually the one on my phone)
  5. Actually there are only 4 things but I want to make this look like a list of 5.  I don’t know why this feels so important to me.

However, on reflection, all I really need is a pen or pencil, and some paper.  A journal would be nice, but any paper would do.  When I was younger and worked part time in a shop, I used to write stories on the back of til receipts that people left behind.  I guess what I’m tryng to say is that even with nothing, if we want to create, we will find a way, making creative tools out of whatever we have to hand.

So, I would like to thank Dan for his post, for reminding me that when I find my creativity stalling, perhaps simply getting back to basics can get the ideas flowing again.