Rachel Resnick on Creative Inspiration

Question: What made you start Writers on Fire?

Rachel Resnick: That was totally a gift of being in recovery, ‘cause once again all that vitality and focus and energy that I’ve been putting in to finding the one, the mythical one, not settling, finding the ideal impossible person, I was finally able to start channeling into things that were creative including businesses, why not start my own business. I don’t like working for other people. I like my freedom. It doesn’t have to be just the way of manifesting and acting out my love addiction and I really I’m not too interested in hanging out `in dorms and classrooms anymore. We already did that, you know. So, I’m like there must be other people who would prefer to write in another country or in a castle or some fabulous setting. How can I fuse all these elements? And I really do enjoy teaching but I like teaching in a very concentrated way where one of the things that I’m known for goes back to being interested in psychoanalysis and trying to figure out the parents and everyone early on. I love trying to inspire people of psychological breakthroughs, because usually people are just in their own way, and without fail in 5 minutes, people who write in class exercise which is extraordinarily vibrant, but when they go home to write the chapter or the story [unfeelingly] comes back, and it’s like, ay, you know, let it and you know, they’re trying too hard and I’m like let’s do another 5 minute exercise. So, it’s very exciting to have that [concentrating] and you just, people get so tired and driven that sometimes, you know, something really build breakthrough and that’s the most exciting thing, and then when it’s in another foreign setting, a castle and friends, it seems to happen even better.

Question: Can you describe a moment of intense inspiration?

Rachel Resnick: There’s an element of masochism, I think, for all artist and writers, especially writers, it’s not, I was just talking about how one way to heal from love addiction is to interact with other people and have a healthy relationships. When you’re by yourself writing, you’re isolated, so you’re cutting yourself off from people to some degree to get the work done. The memoir, which I think it’s important to bring up because I had never written a memoir and it’s much maligned right now, we’ve had so many people making things up and fabricating and something was supposed to be a novel, [tat-ta-ra]. I found that to be an extraordinary experience of creating concept breakthroughs because I was at pains to write vivid scenes but also draw insights. Valentines, the night before Valentines, good time for a love junkie, come home from teaching, I had a bird at that time who happened to be a rescue bird, who was kind of homicidal, so even the pets I chose were kind of abusive, it was excellent, yes. It’s a big scarlet Macau. Quiet, the bird was quiet. I walked in and some things are off, something’s off, I can’t figure out. But then I walked in my office, the computer is out, the computer is always on, it was like my, you know, console where everything happens. My brain is kind of an extension there, and especially at this point, I was very on the edge financially, it’s where I made my living, it was how I communicate with people. And there is water leaking from the hard drive. “What the hell is going on?” And then I looked to my left and I saw a boot mark, so I’m like my ex-boyfriend I knew had broken in, he… he’s a computer guy, he knew how to short circuit the computer, he’d gone right for the jugular and I owed him some money, by the way. This is one of my next memoir, it would be about problems with money value and worth, but, you know, that doesn’t, okay, yeah. That was a wake-up call. That was a wake-up call. Now, I’m spacing. I’m so into that. I had a breakthrough. I had trouble finding compassion for this guy. Now, by the way, as soon as that happened, I started calling my friend, I was so freaked out, I called a girl friend for support and I said, “Maybe there’s something wrong with me?” Now, she was supposed to say, “There’s nothing wrong with you, you’re perfect, you just haven’t found the right guy. This guy is an asshole, blah, blah, blah.” Instead she said, “Maybe there is something wrong with you.” And this is what prompted me to go seek help.

 

 

 

Writing about her addiction prompted Rachel Resnick to seek help.

3 ways to find a meaningful job, or find purpose in the job you already have

Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.

Videos
  • Broaching the question "What is my purpose?" is daunting – it's a grandiose idea, but research can make it a little more approachable if work is where you find your meaning. It turns out you can redesign your job to have maximum purpose.
  • There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
  • "What's interesting about these three elevations of impact is they enable us to find meaning in any job if we approach it the right way. And it shows how accessible purpose can be when we take responsibility for it in our work," says Hurst.
Keep reading Show less

Physicist advances a radical theory of gravity

Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.

Photo by Willeke Duijvekam
Surprising Science
  • The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
  • The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
  • While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
Keep reading Show less

UPS has been discreetly using self-driving trucks to deliver cargo

TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company, has also engaged in test programs with the United States Postal Service and Amazon.


PAUL RATJE / Contributor
Technology & Innovation
  • This week, UPS announced that it's working with autonomous trucking startup TuSimple on a pilot project to deliver cargo in Arizona using self-driving trucks.
  • UPS has also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
  • TuSimple hopes its trucks will be fully autonomous — without a human driver — by late 2020, though regulatory questions remain.
Keep reading Show less