Kaspa writes: It’s my great pleasure to welcome Roger Housden to our Creativity Interview series. I’m sure that I don’t need to introduce Roger very much, as I imagine his work is very well known to you. However for those few of you that don’t know him, Roger has published twenty books, including the six volumes of the best-selling Ten Poems series, which began with Ten Poems to Change Your Life in 2001.
All his books, whatever the subject – poetry, art, or travel – aim to inspire himself and others toward the examined life. Maria Sharapova, the tennis star, has called his book, Seven Sins for a Life Worth Living (2007, Harmony) “one of the most inspirational books I have ever read.”
He runs small weekly writing classes in his home on writing as a spiritual practice, with an emphasis on memoir. He will be running online writing courses with a spiritual perspective later in 2013. Join his mailing list for details: www.rogerhousden.com or visit him on facebook.
What drives your creative work?
Irrepressible curiosity coupled with the need to clarify and articulate my own responses to the world around me.
What would you say to yourself if you could go back in time and meet yourself at the beginning of your creative career?
You have no idea where you are going, and that is exactly as it should be.
How do you keep creating when things get difficult?
If you mean when life gets difficult, then that can often be grist for this writer’s mill. If you mean when the writing gets difficult, I very rarely experience that, and when I do I take a walk in the woods.
How does your creative work affect the rest of your life?
It helps me to be more alive to the sense world in which I live and also to the inner world of thought, feeling and reflection. It encourages me to see possibility in seemingly intractable situations.
What is it like to send your work out into the world?
When I have finished a book it disappears pretty quickly from my inner view, and reappears almost as a surprise when I first receive a finished copy. Then I feel anticipation and interest in how others are going to respond to it – because I really have no idea what impact it will make on anyone else.
What was the best advice anyone gave to you?In writing, be personal and self revealing ( Philip Roth said a writer must be shameless.) In life, Rumi, when he says that
This longing you express
is the return message.
What helps you to pay attention to the world?
The willingness to be without an agenda, to do nothing, especially nothing useful. Then, walking helps me return to the pace of the animal world, which encourages my senses to come alive.
Thank you Roger.