Saturday, 19 January 2013

Who am I talking to?

At the moment, it's an intriguing confusion between many unestablished voices, multiplied by their potential destinations, and spread out across my limited experience. Endless possibility... some days exciting, sometimes soul freezing. I am putting myself through The Artist's Way, a method from the 90s for unlocking creativity, and building some faith in this wilderness. I'm actually getting into it, though the lightness does of course come back around and poke me on the shoulder, asks me to add a bit of cynicism to rationalise the experience, but I'm just saying no. For once I'm on the bandwagon, it's a pretty good view from up here, there's some softly worn fabric cushions of faded brights to sit on, and some pleasant maybes to pass the time. For the moment being, cynicism can hide under a rock, but it's no coincidence that the contemporary reprint of the book omits the old tagline of 'A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity'

Maybe it's just because I went to yoga three times this week. As much as I do it at home all the time, especially now as I am unemployed with boundless time, class makes me forget my body as well as my brain, and fully immerse in the philosophy. I don't know what it was yesterday, but I kept getting really profound flashes at the oddest moments, by the end I'd devised a menu of points to take away, starter,main, dessert, along with the word allow. Quite boring just there, but at the time, it glowed. The plans that made sense to me within that two hours, once I'd had a kebab and got to writing them down, it just dissipated. Revelations turned into plain English sounded watery and thin, like explaining a dream, it was so much more thrilling and involving at the time, I guess you had to be there.

So, I'm doing The Artist's Way, and glad I have centuries-old back-up to ward off the Americanism that my inner cynic bites on. I do skip paragraphs where intention is lost in language, cringe, and fill in my own gaps.  Each day I'm writing 15 minutes of Morning Pages, designed to take off the cream, or the scum, and my classification of 'morning' can sometimes be lax. After just 2 weeks you can notice a pleasing attitude change to such practice, along with a change of results. As I write the 4 pages in an orange Rhodia A5 notepad with a medium blue Muji pen, I scribble loud ideas with a 2B Stadtler pencil onto a Muji B4 scrapbook, underneath. Two tracks. I have an on-the-go notebook which feels like an external brain, impartially capturing thoughts and potential leads as well as boring crap. Three. I've started expanding autobiographical shots which would here become too narrative somehow, into small descriptions of under 1000 words. These are not (yet?) stories, because no-one is sad, nowhere is surreal and nothing really happens. Fourth. A blog like this sometimes presents itself. I don't know if it should, what it does, or how it operates, only that it mixes the methods mentioned, and adds a whole other realm of broadcasting and qualitative issues.

So there is the writing as verb, the writing as philosophy, the writing as theory, the writing as illustration, the writing as noun. They happen on different timescales and crawl towards a variety of endpoints, as yet unexplored and undecided. Flashes of thought seeds, completed pictures that merely need writing up, words that happen as you make them, a variety of distances between you and the Work. Possible destination must be deciphered by me but belongs to the words - Poetry, short stories, novellas, novels, creative non-fiction, art writing, art critique, art theory, philosophy, and all this before you approach paid-for words and modes my naivety hasn't found yet. It makes the question 'What do you write' a difficult one to answer. On the spot, unpracticed, cold. People want empirical examples, but some things you can't put into words.

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