It Started With a Podcast

A couple weeks ago, on Good Friday, I had the opportunity to sit down with Mike Zaremba from the Vancouver Real Podcast (I’m episode #68) to talk about creativity and the work that I’d been doing for the last two years (plus) on this site, and outside of it. We talked about the conversations I’ve published, the poetry I’ve performed, and my views on life.

I was very excited about this interview, but something unexpected happened after he sent me the link to listen to our conversation.

After being hit with the inspiration for Creative Life (I still remember the day quite vividly. I was walking down Richards from the library thinking about how I could expand my personal blog to increase its value), I started working on it almost immediately. It started with a collection of eight story-tellers, hand-picked by me, sharing excerpts from their lives. From there, it quickly evolved to include interviews with creative professionals with 10 standard questions I decided to ask everyone. Eventually I opened it up to include stories from creatives I’d never met, and moulded the interviews to be more conversational versus journalistic. My skill as an interviewer greatly improved, my ability to edit strengthened, and my reach was exciting. The site was getting stronger and stronger.

But, after last month’s interview with Vancouver Real, I had to ask myself a very serious question:

Is this what I want?

Do I want to create a platform solely for my interviews?
The answer is no.

What did I hear in this interview with Mike?

I heard my fear and I heard my clarity. I’ve talked a lot about fear in the past. What I want to talk about now is clarity.

It hit me like a ton of bricks at 26:11. We were talking about perfectionism, and Mike brought up a poem that I wrote in September:

“You very articulately put it in a Youtube video I saw of you. A spoken word performance I would say. What was it called?”

“Outside the Lines” I tell him.

And then the whole interview takes a notable turn. “Would you like me to share the poem with you?” I ask. “That would be incredible,” he says. And then, listening back I hear my voice transform.

I remember performing that poem in the studio.

Suddenly my body came alive. Suddenly I was having fun with speech. I started to play. It’s a long poem, and there were certainly a few moments where I was afraid I would make a mistake, and that I might forget something, but those moments were short. I knew – understood — that the only place I needed to be was with the sound that I was currently making, and time fell away (time was something we coincidentally talked about later in the interview).

After hearing this, a realization came to me with alarming clarity: I’ve put my focus in the wrong place.

I fought against this decision for days. It felt like the entirely wrong time to make it – having just done a podcast interview and all. But I was reminded of a passage that I read in the book ‘Let Your Life Speak’ by Parker J. Palmer: “There is as much guidance in what does not and cannot happen in my life as there is in what can and does – maybe more.”

The truth is, I’ve been having so much trouble building a platform out of  Creative Life, because I don’t want to create a platform out of Creative Life. I love talking to other creatives, but I also love to write. I’ve been writing since I was eight years old, and in many ways this site has been distracting me from that passion. Maintaining two sites is just too much.

So I’m moving everything over.

I’ve rebranded my personal blog, and will now be hosting my personal essays, my poetry, and my conversations (still there because I love doing them, but no longer the entire focus of the platform) all in one place:

I will also continue hosting the play dates. The next one will occur on April 27th at Another Space. To stay up-to-date on these play dates, please like the 9 Creative Lives Facebook Page by clicking here.

Maybe it’s not such a crazy switch. But what it is, is a recognition of my joy. I talk so much about valuing your own voice in the conversations currently hosted on this blog, but the truth is that I wasn’t valuing my own.

I’d like to thank everyone who has been so supportive during this project. I’m experiencing some grieving pain right now, but I’m also very excited for this merge. It just sort of, you know, makes sense.

Oh, and in case you’re curious about the new blog name, let me explain. It’s very simple: just like cats, creatives have a tendency to always land on their feet.

Front page 9 creative lives

My newest essay on ‘Being Perfect as a Human’ will be published on Tuesday, April 12th. To receive that post:

Subscribe to 9 Creative Lives

And check out my interview with Mike Zaremba on Vancouver Real.
I’m episode #68:

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** Yoga Cover photo by seen on the archives page by Wade Gibb

The Last Post on This Blog, and Why – It can be hard to say goodbye, but sometimes it’s necessary
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Christine Bissonnette

I first became interested in acting when I was 13, but I think that I’ve probably been a writer my entire life. I started by writing poetry. I didn’t exactly know what I was doing, but I knew that I loved exploring the rhythms and thought processes that were different from my own.