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07.14.2010
Creativity

People sometimes ask how I channel creativity - be it writing songs, short stories or poems, painting or drawing. I donít have to choose what I will do on any given day because it chooses me. Itís hard to describe - kind of like describing the difference between thirst and hunger. They are both strong impulses, but impossible to describe the subtle difference that causes you to reach for a glass instead of a spoon. Thatís how it is with my art. One day I feel hungry to write poems. Itís just quiet. There is no melody to distract and I can focus on the distilled emotion that poetry lets me capture. Other times I find my hand reaching for a guitar, and I can feel a song wanting to be born. I just try to keep my mind still and get out of its way - and when I do, they bubble up quicker than I can write them down.

Yet at other times I feel an emotion scratching inside of me, but itís a shy kind of feeling. It had no words. Itís color and texture and itís raw, and I start to scribble and smear chalk until it gets out.

Lately I have been writing a lot of short story fiction. My whole life I felt like as I grew older and more patient my writing would seek longer forms. Itís taken me while to build up to short story fiction from a 3 minute song, but Iím enjoying finally being here. I am endlessly fascinated with human emotion, with what makes us most fundamentally human - our frailties and our basic goodness - and short stories let me flesh that out a little more.

In general my music career gets in the way of writing a lot because there is so much travel and promoting involved. But even with my packed schedule I manage to create a lot, though I decided to set aside some time to really focus on writing. I rented a boat, and for a week Iím going to go out by myself and really bare down on some poems and stories. Itís not much time, but itís a start.


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