Creativity and Entrepreneurial Risk
Dear fellow writers and friends:
Last month, I took a creative and entrepreneurial risk, bringing my values loud-and-proud into my newsletter by announcing WRITEABILITY and the Right to Write Awards. In general, I didn’t say anything you don’t already know. But “in general” isn’t active. “In general” isn’t risky. That’s exactly why writing that is general (and not concrete), never lands as well as it could with an audience. Whereas writing that speaks to the human predicament uses craft to make general truths feel urgent and deeply personal.
So I got specific. I told you why I was fed up with the harms wrought by capitalism and the literary industry. Friend, poet, and general goddess of wisdom Michelle Bitting talked about taking risks in her recent interview with Shout Out L.A.:
“There’s a corporeal alchemy, a wiring, and blood metallurgy, perhaps, that goes with [taking risks]. For some, there is no other choice. I’ve always admired that kind of devotion, rigor, and tenacity…That finger-in-the-socket survival instinct. Well, we do the best we can, right? It’s all energy, and I suppose evolving on a personal level has much to do with learning to wield and channel that force–the good, bad, and in-between — into something…Beautiful? Worthy? Artful? Or at the end of the day, simply…kind.”
So, with “finger-in-the-socket” tenacity, I will keep getting specific. For instance, here’s what new mom, newsletter subscriber, and writer Eloísa Pérez-Lozano had to say in response to last month’s “hit reply” newsletter provocations when asked “Have you given much thought to how to create change from within something that’s broken?”
“Regarding creating change from within something that is broken: I believe I am most passionate about showing how machismo (sexism in Mexican/Latino culture) hurts everyone. Whether it’s allowing my son to explore his feelings and be allowed to wear all the colors of the rainbow (and patiently persuading his more traditionally-raised father to go along with it), or writing poems and essays about my direct experiences with this phenomenon, I think it’s important to keep speaking up so that people of all genders can feel free to be themselves and not be beholden to outdated stereotypes that hinder our ability to achieve equality/equity among everyone. A culture is made up of a collective set of beliefs valued by individual people. Until enough individuals speak up about the negative aspects of it, the culture will not change for the betterment of everyone.”
With Michelle and Eloisa as my guides, and with each and every one of you reading this newsletter in mind, I am here to say I will not stop trying to shine light on the “blind spots” of business and creativity. I will not stop reflecting on mistakes, gleaning from the collective, and committing to inspiring acts–mostly in the form of literary fiction, creative nonfiction, and co-creative teaching and business models.
Will you join me? Read on to find out how.
- When the “wrongs of the world” feel too big, what creatives do you turn to for perspective and inspiration to keep going? I look to Rockwell Kent, Louise Erdrich, adrienne marie brown, Sister Corita Kent, Martin Luther King Jr., and countless “writers of the American West” whose words preserve a landscape that–though far from my current home–always reminds me that beauty can never leave us.
- We’re nearing the Fall Equinox, a time of lessening light and abundant harvest. When you think of the word “harvest” as it applies to your daily life, what comes up for you? Sure, you can tell me about your garden. But maybe “harvest” means more to you…maybe the word itself is an invitation to go deep, dig down, look closely. I want to know what’s under the under. What are you pulling up?
Hit reply by contacting me here with anything that’s on your mind, or responses to the above provocations. And please, if the mission of WRITEABILITY and the Right to Write Awards resonates with you, become a Supporter today. Donate here.