Holly Wren Spaulding (@hollywrens) is a writer, educator, interdisciplinary artist and author of ‘Familiars’ and other books and the founder of Poetry Forge.
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ZAK: Whether you have five minutes or five hours, today's advice is to create your own autonomous zone. HOLLY: In other words, to have free spaces in your life free of other people, free of the profit motive, you know the pressure to be earning a living during that time. Free of interruption. Free of social media. Free of duties and obligations that impinge on, for one thing, the imagination. And the way in which this is practiced in my life most diligently is in the morning hours from 7-10 am, I treat as sacrosanct. There's no appointments, no e-mail, no social media, no interaction family members. That's my writing time.
ZAK: Do you think for people that don't have a creative practice, there's value in creating these autonomous zones? HOLLY: Absolutely. And that's why I think it is, at its core to me it's about a couple of different things. It is about practicing being free. Like, who am I and what do I care about when I'm not sort of being...sort of bounced from obligation to obligation or duty to duty. My life is not free of those things. Yours isn't. They exist. I think of this time as helping me be more well-resourced for when I do have to go engage with the drudgery or make a living or whatever it is. But this idea that we can get to know ourselves in that free space...have a secret life...like a life that doesn't belong to anyone else that we don't easily give up. And that's a big deal I think. And then also to find out, like, there's something arising in me, maybe, that is as interesting or compelling as what's happening in the outside world. So, like, what is putting pressure on your imagination? What is stealing your time? What is costing you greatly in terms of your, you know, the bandwidth you have to make whatever you want to make? It is frequently the allure of what's happening in the outside world.
ZAK: Holly Wren Spaulding is a poet and writer. HOLLY: And I'm the Director of Poetry Forge where I work with writers and artists in a teaching capacity.
ZAK: How are fortifying yourself? Please let me know by calling the advice hotline at 844-935-BEST and if you can think of someone in your life who might be enlivened by this idea of creating their autonomous zone, maybe you can send this episode to them. You can do that at BestAdvice.Show or just sending them to the show wherever you listen to podcasts. Thanks. Talk to you soon.