RSS

Lessons from Liz Lochhead

07 Oct

Today I met Scotland’s National Poet, Liz Lochhead. We were performing at a Lapidus event at Kelvingrove Art Gallery as part of the Scottish Mental and Arts Film Festival.

Liz did a sweep of the stalls just after she arrived. When she reached my stall she complimented me on my depressed bananas. Her exact words were “I love your bananas”. Here’s my stall:

I thanked her and gave her some postcards of the depressed bananas. Not long after that she took to the stage to close the event.

I enjoyed her poetry – she has such engaging bright eyes when she performs. I found it really interesting to hear her talk about her own journey with regards to mental health. There were two things she said that really stood out to me as good advice and I thought I’d share them with you:

Do something creative and allow yourself to be bad at it….

Liz showed us her sketch book and explained she wasn’t good at drawing but she loves doing it.

When Liz draws it helps her to find the words and solutions she needs for her poems. You need more than one creative outlet. If you’re not a professional writer then you have an advantage – you can write things without people expecting them to be good. If Liz writes people demand it’s good. When she draws there’s no pressure.

The second thing she said that stood out is this:

If you’re feeling depressed don’t write about your feelings, write about something else and the feelings will come through anyway..

Liz observed that we’re told so often to write about our feelings but actually, if we’re feeling down then we should write about other things. It’s much better to take the focus off ourselves and our feelings will always come through what we write anyway.

I totally agree with that. It’s good to get feelings out on paper just to understand them better but if you’re looking to shift your mood then writing about something else is the way forward.

Recently I wrote a poem about maths. It ended up saying so much of what I’ve been wanting to say but in a simple form and with a structure that wrote itself. My feelings came out without me trying to write about them – I was writing about maths.

So Liz was right. What do you think?

 
3 Comments

Posted by on October 7, 2012 in Banana me beautiful, Events, poetry, Writing

 

Tags: , , , , ,

3 responses to “Lessons from Liz Lochhead

  1. belledelettres

    October 8, 2012 at 12:05 am

    love the wisdom of my fellow writers!

     

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
The Accidental Monastic

Reflecting. Relating. Living. Obeying.

Lou Treleaven, writer

Writing for children, submitting manuscripts, reviewing great books and other wordcentric activities

Scran Salon

Edinburgh's monthly food shindig

The Grove Community Garden

Fountainbridge Comes Alive Through Community

Forest Families

Promoting play in nature

Home Is Where The Cake Is

Creating real food recipes and cakes and baking delectable vintage afternoon teas

broadway, brothels & true love

A JOURNEY INTO MARRIAGE

Engaging Communities in Scotland

thinking differently about engagement

walkingwithpoets

'by leaves we live'

Leither Lass

A Leither girl's guide to Edinburgh...

fireflymagazineblog

The blog of Firefly magazine. The seasonal magazine for families who are wild at heart.

The Found Explorer

creative reuse and regenerated arts education

Edinburgh Museums & Galleries Outreach

Taking Edinburgh Museums & Galleries out to you!

ronanandfriends

This is a bit about me and my friends.

Lynsey May writes down the night

Writing down the night in the long, long nights of Scotland.

Edinburgh Cycle Chic

Because you don't have to wear Lycra

maggigibson

Just another WordPress.com site

Leith Library

A blog from the Scottish Book Trust Reader in Residence at Leith Library

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 214 other followers

%d bloggers like this: