Meet Upcoming Chicago Performer Elizabeth B. Soutter
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
Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!