WRITING TIP: The important thing in writing and art

Focussing on trying to write something “good” or even coherent can be a big stumbling block when we are trying to access what is hidden under our discursive minds. In fact, any objective to create something artful can backfire, and make it harder to source what is original in us. Georgia O’Keefe knew this well. As an artist, she ignored fashion and followed the callings of her own intuition, however quirky its attractions. In doing so, this obscure art teacher became one of the most loved painters of the 20th century. In a letter to Sherwood Anderson, it’s no surprise she gave him this advice, which will serve most anyone engaged in creative work: “Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant — there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.”