Creative juice


What makes the creative juice flow?

It can be walking in silence at the end of a fire drill line of kids who have their quiet fingers held up to their lips, walking with them out the school door on a drill, walking behind the boy who imagines with the other hand he is spraying water on the roof.

Or, it can be, while pushing against wind on the beach, looking out on the rough Atlantic Ocean and expansive sky to watch one tiny bird during a long time, making no progress against stiff wind.  But, still, the bird flaps.

Some times when I need a boost, facing the blank paper page or the white screen, I will turn to a book from a side table, or my shelves or maybe it’s on the floor.  And most often the book has images, not just words.

This month the go-go juice images burble from Mo Willems’


Daily on a looooooong journey, the young talent who would become an Emmy (for Sesame Street writing) and Caldecott-winner, kept a sketch diary. Right there – that dedication to a task,  it’s a model of the passion inherent in winners. He can’t keep from doodling with a purpose. And so daily on the trek, he collected one image that struck him the most & created a fast cartoon of it, with a line of notes.  I especially return to his quick record of the small boy in big Cairo who he saw watering a tree on a public street, as if it were his own.  Makes my heart melt.

3 thoughts on “Creative juice

  1. Oh the power of keeping a journal! Thanks for mentioning Mo Willems’ practice. I’ve kept one for a long, long time, and if you were to flip through you would find, at the tops of the pages observations I don’t want to lose that could become stories. I wonder what my daughter will do with all these journals when they come into her possession. But, if nothing else, she will see where my stories come from.


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