How’s your wild animal?

“Your talent is like a wild animal that must be fed.” –Jerry Saltz


Replace the word ‘talent’ with ‘creativity’ and then I’m totally with this quote by Jerry Saltz.

Creativity must be fed.

You have it, that’s the first thing.

You are creative.

That’s a given. Let’s not waste any time on that one.

Are you alive? Yes? Okay. Then you are creative.

Next: Your creativity must be fed.

Are you feeding it?

I’m not going to define what that looks like that because it’s different for different people and even different for the same person at different times.

Are you feeding it? Even a nibble?

Are you stepping into the unknown, testing, failing, reaching, doodling, experimenting, day-dreaming, describing the morning sky?

Good! Now tell me how you are doing it because the well is dry over here.

Dry dry dry.

As a teenager, I talked on the phone for hours, the old-fashioned ones stuck to the wall with the ridiculously long curly cords. I’d be on the 3rd floor a million miles from the kitchen and if my friends was eating a cookie or something I used to say, Push it through the phone.

That’s how I feel about creativity lately. I need someone to push it through the phone.

I’ve been feeling aimless, flat, baffled by time.

I’ve done a little painting and no writing and the merest bit of gardening. 

I’m eating too much and streaming too many shows.

Last Friday, I spent hours on the guest room futon, my laptop propped up on my chest, the door closed. At one point, my husband knocked and I called out, “I’m working.” 

He opened the door and saw what I was doing and gave me the soft, Aw, honey face but before he could say anything, I cut him off.   

“I’ve really got to stick with this,” which, of course, was silly since I was at the end of an episode of Marcella and could easily have clicked the computer shut.

But did it? No. I did not. I let it slip right into the next episode, watching Marcella go undercover, trying to take down the mob without taking herself with them. 

I must be feeling undercover, in some way.

Should I dye my hair platinum blond like Marcella, and give myself bangs and a messy blunt cut? Is that the answer?

I don’t know. 

I don’t know much of anything these days and maybe that’s good news because UNCERTAINTY IS THE BIRTHPLACE OF INNOVATION (blah blah blah) and also, I amalive (if I’m to trust my senses) and so I must be creative (if I’m to believe my own self) and I do, somewhere under this aimless, flat, bafflement, feel like a wild animal.

A wild hungry animal. 

A wild hungry hard-to-reach animal. 

Push it through the phone.

(Help it get out from under cover.)


But look.

I wrote this.

This counts. 

Sometimes that’s all it takes. A crumb. I prefer a scrumptious smoothie, a beautiful snack, a bountiful meal. But. A crumb counts.

How’s your wild animal, Dear Reader?




How are you caring for it? What is it craving? Can you manage to scrape together at least a crumb?

What might that look like? 

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