You know that moment when you are sitting in a workshop and the room falls silent as the participants start writing in response to a set exercise – all except for you because you can’t think of what to write? You want to impress your fellow writers with the sheer brilliance of your creation, but every thought you have seems to be irrelevant to the task at hand. Well, maybe that hasn’t happened to you, either; but it is happening to me right now.
So I am using the well-known method to overcome writers’ block, that is to just start writing… anything.
My fellow Lazy River Writers and I have been asked to send our five top brags for the year to be collated in the annual overview of what members have achieved in the last twelve months. What I am trying to select is my top five writing brags for the year, and I’m struggling to find one worthy thing; except … maybe … writing a blog post per day for the month of November i.e. NaBloPoMo.
I’m sure I shall come up with some more … maybe some of the open mic or community literacy activities or … writing an exhibition review for a fellow SECAN artist, Sue Jarvis.
I have written this year … tens of thousands of words, in fact; but aside from the usual poems and occasional first draft of a children’s story, everything seems to relate to laying the foundations for my Arts business. There’s been a lot of business writing:
- Heaps of website content
- A business plan, values and goals, and a project blueprint
- Funding applications
- Workshop and exhibition proposals
- Exhibition support material
- … and a mountain of marketing words
- And also show notes for radio interviews on 3SER on Women of Today, and Hot Topics.
When I look back on the goal sheet I laminated at the first Lazy River Writers meeting this year, I am not displeased. This is not a surprise as I have kept my focus on that sheet throughout the year, referring to it when breaking my projects into bight-sized parts recorded on sticky notes that I’ve arranged on vertical surfaces around the house to help organise my thoughts and weekly actions.
My poor husband! As if it wasn’t bad enough that my art stuff spread to fill every horizontal surface, leading to me renting lockup storage to house it, now I post fluorescent reminders everywhere – well, everywhere I work. But I digress. Back to my goal sheet.
My greatest achievement has been to treat my arts practice as a business and work on setting up a structure that will support its long-term viability. I am still working on parts of this. The website, in particular, needs to be finished and tweaked. Stay tuned; watch this space. (The website won’t be a cliché.)
I am also proud of the Mind Drawing Children’s Project that has just started to launch (currently at Blarney Books and Art in Port Fairy). I love that it is a touring exhibition that has been engaging, entertaining and enabling communities in a range of venues during the creation of the work. And I love that it will continue to do so as the exhibition is shown in the locations where I drew and photographed and spoke with visitors, introducing them to Mind Drawing and the Children’s Stories project.
And I like the way one project will flow smoothly into another. Last week I attended a Shakespeare symposium and met people from the Shakespeare Institute in the UK, thus starting the groundwork for my next big project: Mind Drawing Shakespeare.
When I am drawing in the gallery at Blarney Books and art on Saturday 3rd December, I shall be starting my first Shakespeare Mind Drawing. I wonder what I should represent and hide in it? Community input is welcome.