Feb 13, 2021
— This was a good conversation with Austin Kleon, and reminds me of how my friend Chad always says, half-serious: Curiosity is a holy thing.
Two is a pattern for me. If somebody mentions noodles in an email, and then I’m watching TV later and somebody’s eating noodles, I write it down, and think about what kind of message it could be. I know it’s not real, but that sort of dumb “everything could be a secret message” attitude seems to open up a possibility space for me, activates the playful wiring in my brain that gives me ideas. I think collage is an art form that actively invites these weird patterns: you’ll be making a collage, and see two elements juxtaposed, and it’ll create a third thing in your brain.
“We tend to be defensive of our work. We want it to be received well, to be instantly commended for what we’ve done. But the creative writing classroom is a place to develop the habit of wanting our original work to change,” Downing said. “That to me is the project of a life—to change, and to be changed by the people you encounter.”