Elizabeth B. Soutter performed in our Boston show and we are fortunate enough to have her flying out to Chicago to be in the show again. Elizabeth is a talented, generous woman and I look forward to seeing her soon!
How are you creative post children? How has it changed since pre-baby?
Probably one of the biggest surprises for me was how motherhood made me creative. “Hey, I made a person. Gee, I wonder what else I can make?” Before I had kids I was a creative problem-solver, but I did not consider myself particularly artistic. Now that I have children I feel much more connected and invested in the world. I am so much more aware of beauty and complexity and it has made me creative in my cooking, my home decorating, my holidays … and increasingly in my work.
When do you find time to create?
I had a writing teacher who told me that writer’s block is for fakers. — Writers, people who do this as work, can’t afford it. I don’t think that’s entirely true, but I think it is true that being creative has a lot more to do with being disciplined than we may think. Shotgun creativity is maybe a little underrated, even. When you are grabbing an hour while your kids watch a video, you can’t luxuriate in wondering whether you can do it. You’ve got to produce something. That’s still how I do the majority of my writing, although I am working now on more sustained creative time, which is vital for larger projects. This spring I took myself on a little writing retreat to a beach hotel where I wrote for large, unbroken chunks of time. I had almost forgotten how. It’s a very different kind of creativity and I’m really excited to pursue it now that my kids are older.
(From February to April, 2013 Boston saw three major winter storms and a terror attack. For me, it also meant 11 total doctor visits with my asthmatic four year-old. Here we are during the power outage with thirty inches of snow on the ground. I had thought ahead and ordered the car adapter for her nebulizer (and fueled the cars before the storm). Motherhood made me creative in a lot of ways.)
How did you hear about Expressing Motherhood?
A few years ago I made a deal with myself that I would accept the next two big projects that crossed my desk. I was forwarded an e-mail calling for submissions to Boston’s ExMo 2010. I submitted and was accepted and I was horrified! I have no professional stage experience. I am amazed at what Lindsay can do, how great the show was. It was the most fun I’d had in a long, long time. I had no plan to submit for Chicago, really at all, and then the night of the deadline I just found myself hitting send and I was thrilled when they accepted me.
Do you have a background in acting/writing?
In writing, yes. I did my undergraduate work in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins and have spent the last fifteen years as a writer and editor. I teach journalism at Harvard Extension School and taught Creative Writing at Boston University.
What creative projects are you up to?
I am teaching a lot and writing a lot. My personal writing retreat was so successful, I am now hosting and teaching them, which is a lot of fun. I think it’s easy to get caught in your own little world and really — to be truly creative you need to be collaborative. As writers, particularly, you simply must invite other people in if you want your work to grow. My website is here: http://www.claritaseditorial.com
The National Play About Motherhood – Established in 2008