- Mickey Maurer
On Wednesday evening, local magnate Mickey Maurer presented "Underwater Journalism: Managing a Writing Project While Engaged in Another Career” at the Indianapolis Art Center (820 East 67th Street) as part of the Clowes Craft Lecture Series entitled “Be a Better Writer.” Maurer has authored two books: Water Colors, a book of underwater photography, and 19 Stars of Indiana, profiles of Hoosier women who have overcome adversity and become successful. As chairman of the board of The National Bank of Indianapolis and IBJ Corp, I imagine he’s pretty busy, so I was interested to hear about his writing process.
The art center’s Ruth Lilly Library was packed with chairs, people, and gorgeous samples of Maurer’s photography from his dives in locales like New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Fiji. He spoke at length about Water Colors and mentioned that all proceeds from copies that sold that evening would go directly to the Writers’ Center of Indiana (812 E. 67th Street). He read a few excerpts from 19 Stars, including a bit about soprano Angela Brown and mentioned that each book took two years to complete. Maurer commented on the fact that he needs to be in a quiet room at home with a preplanned block of time on his schedule so that he can write. He also mentioned that he doesn’t watch television, which means no football. The crowd laughed when he said that meant he was free to write on Sunday afternoons and Monday evenings. Humorous as it was, that was the end of his insights into how he creates. I know that I shouldn’t look to other writers for answers about how to write — what works for some writers won’t work for others. I guess I was just especially curious about Maurer; as a highly-successful businessman and philanthropist, I was hoping for secrets and directions. That I am dealing with... how you say… writing jam (not quite a block as I am still producing creative material, albeit slowly) likely made me frustrated. Whatever it is that leads Maurer to his desk again and again to write, it works: he’s currently completing another volume of 19 Stars, this time about Hoosier men.
The work included in Water Colors is currently on display at the Jewish Community Center (6701 Hoover Road). Maurer is neither a professional diver nor photographer, which makes his beautiful work that much more impressive. Inspiring is the fact that he continues to dive after suffering temporary paralysis from the bends. His photos are at the JCC through August 27. Call 317-715-9220 for information about exhibition hours.