Thursday 17 April 2014


The first months of this year have been challenging, so to keep my spirits in good state I've been adopting Jo Dacombe's "Do one thing" strategy, every day I try to do one thing towards improving my situation or extending my artistic practice. Some days I do wish I'd opted for a career writer as trying to make things happen, improve things, get projects under way takes up hours and hours of unpaid time writing. However I am just too literal and my imagination does not run to the twists and turns of crafting  fiction. 

I must also confess that having worked briefly and long ago in Literature Development, the career path of the writer is beset with just as many pitfalls as pleasures and isn't any easier than that of a visual artist. I do find it interesting that no one seems to quibble about a writers daily rate of pay, which seems to be generally more than for visual artists. Do we value the work it takes to write, do we feel safer with the the narrative and value it more than a visual statement?

I do love the powerful richness of words, language, poetry, sentences, communication, I use words in my work either as inspiration or as part of it's content. However some days the sheer effort of will it takes to sit down in a room by myself, in front of a screen and answer questions; which may or may not result in being able to make some work frustrates me. At those times I feel caught in a continual round of exam conditions, writing to time, trying to meet someone else's criteria, wondering 'Have I made myself clear enough, have I understood the question?". At other times I revel in the process, I have ideas, I am excited, the process is fun, the words flow, particularly if I feel there is a good chance of success.
When the field is fallow, work is not plentiful, then I have to do that leap in the dark stuff, spend time applying for things because I need the work, not because I am entirely convinced that success will be mine. I can't just sit in the shed moping, I have to try, I have to make an attempt at changing my predicament. I know the activity of writing down ideas is never really wasted, thinking is good, dreaming is good, even if success is unlikely. 
So the words on my mind are:-

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