Consumer Culture
September 6, 2014
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SPARKS Creative Inspiration from Joy Williams

We recently spoke with singer-songwriter Joy Williams, one-half of the Grammy-winning duo The Civil Wars, for the newest issue of our interview series about creativity, The Fire Theft Project. Here are a few of the key insights we learned from the conversation.

Relish the now Putting yourself and your art into the world can bring a paralyzing wave of “what ifs” that could cloud your experience: “The only way I survived and enjoyed the process amidst all that pressure was just staying fully present and letting myself feel everything I was feeling in that moment.”

Seek collaborative balance For Joy and JP, a duo comprised of polar opposites is what unlocked their creative potential: “Something I think is a strength can also drive me crazy. The thing John Paul was really good at was saying, ‘No, that’s really good. We got what we need, let’s move on to the next thing.’”

Beware of the burnout While at first it may seem that saying “no” is a quick way to stifle a budding career, setting smart boundaries is the key to gaining momentum without losing heart.

What’s meant to be will be “Like Steinbeck said, ‘Nothing good gets away,’ so if I’m meant to do music, I’ll fi nd a way to do it that inspires me to risk everything and jump off that ledge again.”

Grow yourself, grow your art “My worldview shifted like tectonic plates from 17 to my mid-20s, and over time, I just started feeling less and less comfortable with the type of music I was making… I wanted to write things that moved me and not feel like I had any parameters telling me what to do or not to do.”

Read the full interview at TheFireTheftProject.com

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