Friday, October 31, 2008

THINGS I HAVE NOT FINISHED.....
Egad! It seems like every year, there are more items on this list! Although my "Words From Water: Poems" is complete, I still have not selected a cover for the book, and I still very much want to have a trusted poet pal "preview" the poems before it goes to print. In addition to that task not being a "done deal", I also had planned to perform "Show and Tell" in at least a few different locations before the end of this year.
And, I planned to become an ACTIVE member of several writers' organizations, as well as the wonderful Women In Film. It feels like when I have the time, I don't have extra money to spend to travel all over, attend workshops, buy books on technique and/or attend lectures, etc. And when I have the money, I don't have the time--I'm either overworked, overtired, or--as is the case for the past several months--very ill.
Sorry to complain...I rarely do, but I feel so, uh, frustrated. And while no one is more grateful than I am, given I have fabulous friends nearby to shore me up, and have a loving family(not-so-nearby-but-very-caring), sometimes I gotta "vent." And I'm grateful I have the Blogosphere in which to do this...
Okay, so what DO I feel good about?
Getting a tremendous amount of "new" writing finished:
a short-short-story
a flash-fiction piece
a few political Haiku
More "Orgasms"(as in poems from my second book, which will be called "The Orgasm Poems")
New spiritual pieces exploring the nature of fear and worship
Poems which highlight my connection to the "culture of Catholicism"
Other tasks completed:
My closet is much neater(a major feat, kids!)
My purses are organized--no loose items stuffed in them.(again, highly unusual!)
I am practicing yoga nearly every day, meditating more than usual, and actually feeling calmer. Really.
I have a theory:
Artists(writers, painters, actors, dancers, etc.) often begin one project, and then, halfway into that, or maybe just before they reach the conclusion of that project, they begin a new one. With me, I may be working on 5 different projects simultaneously, but only 3 will get completed. What causes this? I don't think it's procrastination, because that means "putting off" stuff, but this is simply shifting focus suddenly to something else. I'm not even certain it's a "problem", since I truly do not know any other way to work. If the project is for someone else(say, at a "job-job"(my term for a non-performance, non-writing job)) it will be finished quickly and efficiently. It's only when the work is highly creative--and totally my own--that I seem to squander time, or at best, re-allocate time to different projects...
Any thoughts out there, from other writers, actors? You visual artists encounter the same thing? I have a very gifted cuz, Jayne, who is a visual artist(painter, fashion designer, costume designer, book-maker) and she once told me when I complained about this "...Well, if you jump to another idea, then that's the one you're supposed to be working on."
Which just sounds too doggone convenient to me.
Again, any thoughts on artistic process/inability to complete everything??
Peace, kids.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Artists - or anyone else, there isn't really anything *special* about artists - succeed when they behave professionally. Treat your work as your job - do it every day in a consistent manner, set deadlines, decide on pricing (if you do this stuff for free, you're a hobbyist, not an artist), market yourself, and so on.

MUCH more is accomplished when you simply realize you have to be professional.

Lisa Allender said...

Thank you for your tips.
I would venture to say the method by which artists create is quite different from other jobs, which is why I posed the question about process. I believe I'm extremely disciplined(the more disciplined one is, the easier the path to inspiration), and I even manage to get paid to write, though I know lots of artists who do not manage to make a living from what they do best, because unfortunately, our society tends NOT to reward artists (unless they are movie-star actors, or "star" sports-players)... I have often said that there is artistry in EVERY job, and I mean that.

Anonymous said...

It's a bit romantic to say there is "artistry in every job". There's really zero artistry in garbage collection, for example, regardless of how crucial (and one might argue it's more crucial than "artist" or "writer" to the welfare of society) it might be.

I have to disagree that the artistic process is somehow "special" or "different". It's just disciplined creation.

I will also say that "society" doesn't reward anything. Athletes make money because THEY demand it, not because society forces riches upon them. Professional artists do make plenty of money - I know I pay graphic designers at least $100-125 per hour, and actual writers usually command $100 per hour or more. An "artist" who doesn't make a living at it is, as I say, a hobbyist, not an artist.

I can draw buildings for free to my heart's content, but I'm not an architect. When I get some credentials and a paying job drawing buildings, THEN - and only then - am I an architect.

Part of the reason there's such a glut of crap art and writing is because of amateurish self-glorification; when the pros start demanding professionalism in the field, THEN you'll see quality.

Lisa Allender said...

Hmmmmm....
Well, we may have to agree to disagree on there not being "artistry" in every job. When I say that, I don't mean it's merely "pretty", but there is a "precise-ness" to nearly every job. I myself have held, oh, probably close to 40-50 different kinds of jobs in my life, and when I say "artistry", I can honestly say there is a true beauty, a precise-ness.For example, when I worked at a coffe-bar long before Starbucks became ubiquitous:The steam pouring out of the capuccino-maker, steadying the tall cup for a froth of foam--viola': the perfect cup. And of course, the grace to serve the guest well.
Or tending plants at a nursery, and gently coaxing buds forth, etc..There really is artistry, I think in every job.
And while I've never been a garbage man, I bet there are those who've done it who would tell you there's a "rhythm"(spell?)to that job. And artistry, if one does it well.

In terms of artistic process being different, I guess we disagree there, too. If artistic process were not still a bit of a mystery, I doubt there'd be such a huge number of books on the subject.....for example, Uta Hagen's books on Acting, etc. etc..
btw, when I say something is different, it does NOT mean "better". I'm the very first to admit that the most special, valuable folks in the world are probably the farmers that grow our food, or the technicians that provide computers for us, or lighting for us to read by!