Bonnie Nadzam Recommends...

“I honestly have no idea what it is that inspires me, but there have definitely been days and even years when it seemed nowhere to be found, because I was crowding it out. I am sorry for the things I’ve written and occasionally published in such a state. Whatever kind of artist you may consider yourself, I recommend welcoming this thing that inspires with a decent place to be. Put water, vitamins, leafy greens into your body. Apples. Oats. Get plenty of sleep. Some exercise. Keep the company of wise and more or less sober people. Don’t smoke. Don’t watch TV. Do trust yourself. Especially when you’re honest with yourself, forgive yourself. Listen to your heart. Consider what it means to be an elder, then find one or two, and listen to them.”
Bonnie Nadzam, author of Lamb (Other Press, 2011)



Inspiration--breathing in, right? As Bonnie says, part of the blockage requires forgiving oneself--I'd add NOT judging oneself. It's the damned hypercritical thing that gets to me, and if that is reinforced (as it so often is) by rejections from publishers, contests, etc. and by uncaring or less-than-really-thoughtful comments others unwittingly blast your way--well, then inspiration may be waiting, but has no entry.
Thanks, Bonnie--and that part about staying healthy, ditching the tv, and being honest with yourself--all good.
As to the elders, well, I'm one of them now (70), but don't feel I've much to offer--so maybe we just look around for people with verve and listen to them.....

How did Bonnie get so smart so young?

Bonnie's approach to inspiration reminds me of the use of negative space in art--she encourages inspiration by attacking its enemies. Enemy-free, Ann's 'breathing-in' becomes easy.