“There ain’t no answer. There ain’t gonna be any answer. There never has been an answer. That’s the answer.” (Gertrude Stein, 1874-1946)
1. Is everyone creative?
2. Why does it feel wrong to say no and not quite right to say yes?
3. What is the difference between creating something and making something?
4. In Hebrew only God can create; humans make and God creates. What does this mean?
5. Does being “creative” always involve restlessness?
6. If creativity a force, where does it come from and where does it go?
7. Why does creativity seem so far away sometimes, and so close other times?
8. Is being creative a choice?
9. Is not being creative a choice?
10. Why are we attracted to the idea of creative genius?
11. Why would having answers to these questions feel both comforting and dissatisfying at the same time?
Joyce Carol Oates wrote: “[Emily Dickinson] was not an alcoholic, she was not abusive, she was not neurotic. Neurotic people who go through life make better copy, and people talk about them, tell anecdotes about them. The quiet just do their work.”
12. Oates means this to be normalizing, comforting, challenging the idea of the tortured artist. But Emily, were you…sane?
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