Filmmaker David Shiyang Liu created a wonderful video based on Ira Glass’ thoughts on the creative process.
I chose it because I had wanted to see Isaacs and missed her other sessions. This panel was to be on
“Navigating Faith and Work: Hollywood and the Writer” which wasn’t of particular interest to me, but
I enjoyed it.
Mark Richard talked going to New York and meeting up with a bunch of other southern writers “because
that’s what Southerners do when we get to New York — we find each other.” After, I don’t know how
many years, there was only Richard and another woman who made it. Richard said it wasn’t because he
was the most talented, but because he didn’t give up.
Teems said, “What challenges you the most doesn’t challenge your talent, it challenges your desire to be
This seems to contradict what Ira Glass is saying, but it doesn’t. So many of us surrender our desire to write
when we come to terms with the realities of our lack of talent. For many, it doesn’t occur to us that our
abilities are organic and that writing is first and always a practice.
In “Your Life as Story”(Which I highly recommend to those structuring memoirs) Tristine Rainer says,
“…the central character should have a clear desire line—it can bend, it can turn unexpectedly, but it should
not break; it should be intense and continuous.”
When we get clear on what we want: to write, and what we need to do: to write, then it gets pretty simple—
rarely easy—but simple, and our desire can carry us through.