Children's Book Reviews

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Interview With Eric Maisel!

I'm so excited about this interview! I trust you are too. The answers Eric has given to my questions are so thoughtful - better than hoped for. Read and enjoy!

JN: How can we maintain daily creativity and a positive outlook in the face of the long process, rejections, the inevitable doubts, and the plethora of conflicting attitudes from society and the publishing world?

EM: This is THE question, isn’t it? First, we have to say, “I love you, work,” even on days when we hate the work, hate the process, and hate our life. That is, we have to get a grip on our own mind and demand that we enter into a loving relationship with our work, because if we don’t, if there is no love there, we will not have the motivational juice to
continue in the face of all of the obstacles you accurately named.

Second, I think that we have to keep visualizing success—visualizing a shelf full of our books, so to speak—to keep reminding ourselves that we have a long writing life available to us and that many successes (along with all the inevitable defeats and disappointments) may be in our future. Remaining in love and visualizing success are two of the many strategies we need to employ to keep ourselves going.

JN: Are Ten Zen Seconds techniques appropriate for children, or should adults only employ them in working with children?

EM: They are absolutely appropriate for children and especially useful for teenagers, as “getting a grip on your own mind” can’t happen too early. Rather than doing things impulsively, one of the hallmarks of childhood, a child can learn to grow still, center, and make decisions—about not doing drugs, about not hanging with this person or that person, about not “needing” to be popular, and so on—from a much stronger place.
As a rule, we fail to teach our children what they actually need to know, including anything at all about “meaning making” and existential matters, and the TZS technique supports exactly that sort of learning.

JN: How can Ten Zen Seconds enhance a child's creativity and learning, say
as opposed to an adult?

EM: The stresses on a child are different from, but no less real and powerful than, the stresses on an adult. One of the ways that childhood stresses play themselves out are in obsessions and compulsions—some psychologists call childhood “the long obsessive-compulsive disorder,” to capture the flavor of the way that children get compulsively attached to their video games or obsessively think about the pimple on their nose.

A child who uses the TZS technique can learn to release the grip of his obsessive thoughts and interrupt his compulsive behaviors, which begins to allow a place for creativity and new learning. If you are obsessing about the pimple on your nose you aren’t also writing your first short story: first you get a grip on your mind, then the creativity flows.


Blogger Janet Grace Riehl said...

"I love you, work!" Yes, we must embrace our work if we are to embrace ourselves and create meaning for ourselves as creative beings. Yes, "I love you, work!" because you are the compass of my life, and yet, only one of the directions my life force takes. "Thank you, work!"

Janet Grace Riehl, author "Sightlines: A Poet's Diary"

11:12 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home