The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Bridget Park: Bridget, 26, Writer & Photographer & Editor, Myself (And the Universe at Large)
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
BP: I am a truly voracious reader, and reading would have to be my most treasured hobby. I also love foreign languages; my husband and I are learning French together right now. And I think travel is important --whether that's across the country, internationally... even in your own neighborhood. I have a long list of hobbies to get to (when budget/space/time allow) --like ballet, learning my ukulele better, cooking, maybe pottery-making, oh, and coding! To be honest, all my interests tie directly back into my work --I'm always writing stories, or making images (either literally, or in my head) and the birds I'm reading about in some guide book, or an impossible-to-translate foreign idiom, or the funny things I overhear on walks creep into whatever I make.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
BP: Definitely. We all go through seasons of peaks and troughs --all of us, as humans! But I think those of us who do creative work are prone to feel those vacillations super intensely --or worry that if we succeed in one arena (personally), we'll fail in another (professionally) or vice-versa. Writing can be tricky in that way --I often feel an odd creative paralysis if my personal writing is going well. I'll be writing an essay for my blog and then think, oh, this one's going well... I should save it for submissions instead. And then nothing goes up, and I feel guilty... or, on the other hand, what I put on the blog feels incongruous to my other work. The draft list on my blog is a weird limbo-land of self-doubt and decaying essays, and it's funny because that's where all the good, honest, neurotic, TRUE stuff is. Half of creative work is building on a bridge from that stuff to reality.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
BP: Time of day doesn't matter so much to me as the weather and landscape. Gray skies are practically a prerequisite for me, creatively and productively. Being by the sea helps, too. I think that there is just such a definite-ness to bright sunlight and non-aquaeous landscapes that makes me feel uneasy. I like to see clouds teetering on the edge of rain, and a body of water shifting from calm to stormy. I feel a very intense connection to water in that way. (My best friend says, beautifully, this is the tension of being a woman.) We'll be living in the Pacific Northwest again in the near-ish future and I'm excited to see how that alters my workflow. [Editor's Note: Bridget and her husband made the move back to the PNW over the summer]
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
BP: I'd like to do more freelance editing work, publish a series of essays, and continue with my blog (but switch-up the format & focus a bit). Also... graduate school is always floating over my head in the shape of a big, unanswered question mark. (I don't like to discount any possibilities!)
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
BP: Right now, my big project is something that integrates my various passions --mostly creative writing, photography, and editing --in a way that makes my work more accessible to both me and readers. I'm also working on a series of essays. I'm at the germinal stages of a few projects, so hopefully in six months I'll have a more compelling response! I chose not to shoot weddings this summer --for the first time in a few years --and it's completely liberating to me creatively. When I'm fully invested in one creative venture, it's hard for to keep the other plates spinning. So if I really want one thing, I have to eschew the others. And right now, I want to be writing.
TCU: Anything else you want to add?
BP: I recently came across this line from Brenda Ueland. I feel it's applicable not just to writing, but any creative venture,
"Writing is not a performance but a generosity."
Do things with intention. Be true. This is the offering we all have inside of us. And if you can create from this good and honest place -- all the other stuff will work itself out.
You can follow along with Bridget on her blog, which features her dreamy photography and poignant writing at www.deercircus.com.