There's a phrase often used by Anne Bogart, Barney O'Hanlon and other SITI Company members during Viewpoints workshops: Do more reading than writing.
More reading than writing is an important improvisation tool -- use what's already in the room. It's an important creative tool -- I believe art has less to do with inventing something new than observing, collecting and curiously exploring the world around us, and then feeding back each artist's personal interpretation of that assembled information.
Right now, reading more than writing is an important tool for me as I'm reflecting on these intensive last two years, and absorbing inspiration for new projects.
After graduating from CIIS less than three weeks ago, I've been reading through:
Yes I've been writing too, tackling personal and administrative tasks that have gone on the wayside, teaching a smidgen and working on small projects, but I feel my current job is to keep reading in this strange time between regular school+work and regular work+resuming big projects. In doing so, I'm getting my energy back and my enthusiasm.
Yes, it's an odd feeling not to be constantly moving, either from task to task or place to place, and to be releasing the familiar panic that's become my consistent anatomy since late 2013. The extra space is unsettling. And it's good for me. Like I read in The Oatmeal's recent post, right now, I'm rebuilding me (and my love for art making) by breathing more in than out.
Though this slowing time feels foreign, where I'm still working but on my own schedule, not driven by intensive daily deadlines, I'm asking myself to enjoy it and be in it. In a couple weeks, my schedule will normalize more through teaching Idaho Writing Camps, summer work that I love so much, as I push deeper into new play projects. I'd better let myself really breathe and read while I have the chance.
How about you? How do you breathe in? What are you reading? What phase in the creative process or human process are you in right now (reading, dialogue, writing, sharing, reflecting, all of the above, other)?
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Process notes on a work in progress (me). This mostly contains raw rough content pulled out of practice notebooks. Occasional posts also invite you into the way I work, with intermittent notes on the hows and whys on the whats I make. Less often you may also find prompts and processes I've brought to workshops, as well as surveys that help me gather material for projects. Similar earlier posts from years ago can be found on: