Every day on Art&Seek, we’re talking to people who have tips for staying creative and calm. Share yours with us on Facebook, Instagram or @artandseek on Twitter. Click above to listen to Paige Phelps share her tip with KERA’s Nilufer Arsala.
By day, you’ll find Paige Phelps producing KERA’s “Think.” Off the clock, Paige is connecting with the community- and getting out of her head – by digging deep inside herself.
“Online writing classes are so refreshing—they allow time to think about a world outside the news,” she says. “I take mine through Claire Campbell Writing, but there are so many others, including Writing Workshops Dallas.
In her most recent class, the instructor, Claire, encouraged them to appreciate how quickly we’ve all had to adapt to our new circumstances and offered exercises that focus on building strong characters—their own.
“What if we tried to be more thoughtful communicators and be braver writers at the same time?” the instructor asked. “If we’re braver and take chances in our writing, it’s a kind of meditation, a kind of way to concentrate and focus that can help us in our communication throughout the day.”
Paige’s instructor also uses prompts, like this poem, by Ada Limón, to inspire students and get their ideas flowing:
Instructions on Not Giving Up
More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.
Copyright © 2017 by Ada Limón.
Paige suggests finding a writing group like this, or creating one of your own. Just a few sentences is enough to relieve stress – and maybe have some fun, too!
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