Birmingham with Beatfreeks on Wednesday 27th July.
“How do you find your inspiration for your work?” is the most frequently asked question I get as a writer who performs her work. I can’t deny I am often stumped at the question. I trawl my brain for the one thing but it just doesn’t work like that. I’m only sure of a couple of things though – the world is full of inspiration and my gut and my heart have conversations all the time about the abstracts – love, conflict, relationships, frailty, resilience, environment, discrimination and power. Or that centrifugal spin of a coffee cup falling. That tense exchange through eye contact on busy public transport. A door held open for an Elder. The truth out of the mouth of babes.
My head is the tool which legitimises the subject my heart and gut want to articulate. When I say legitimise I mean the process through which I manifest my poetry or creative writing – tricks, tips and mediums that facilitate my voice/style and intention to story tell with the most impact on the listener/reader. It sounds quite technical and in some ways it is when the emotion runs very high. But the skill is being able to focus that energy and make the emotion play the supportive role to the message. For me, poetry is intended to educate through laughter, tears and wonder.
Over the last 20 years, I have developed an intriguing process – with the wisdom of writers I respect who have gone before – through which I research, collate information, gather my thoughts, and do the grunt work ( it’s a beautiful process really) of channelling the messages coming through for me. As my blood, sweat and often tears mingle with ink (or pixels), I find vitality and the rigourous wringing out of my spirit is worth while. And this is before the performance rehearsals! A whole other conversation…
I am never ceased to be amazed in how putting out creative energy comes back to me and what makes this job even more interesting is sharing what I have learned. So this week I will be working with thirty 15 to 25 year olds from the brilliant BeatFreek collective at the Birmingham Rep on Wednesday around the concept of “Legacy”.
- Questions we will be exploring:
What is legacy?
What does it mean to create your own legacy?
How do you find inspiration and originality when it feels like everything has already been said?
What research strategies work best for you?
What roles does emotion play in seducing your audience into your narrative?
How does a writer develop potency in the message of their poetry and writing practice?
Check out my creative writing and inspiration Tumblr blog for quotes, writing prompts and creative writing exercises – The Writery