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Jul 9 · 2 min read
My modus operandi
Get it to talk to you, is my advice. Get a dialogue going between you and what you’re creating. Things of importance will be revealed. You’ll learn things your creation knows that you need to learn. If your art is not talking to you, suggesting things to you, you’re in trouble in my opinion.
And stay open to that dialogue even when you’re burning up with ideas and energy and can’t wait to get them down. Keep listening. Keep an ear to the ground.
I was very interested in the craft of art-making long before I got interested in the reactions of others. And when I got interested in their reactions, it was to try to answer my questions around whether I had crafted something worth looking at. I do believe, though, that we’re naturally attuned to some crafts and not to others.
Writing is different for me than painting, for a lot of reasons, maybe because I’m less sensitive to the issues of success and failure now. I don’t mind being a frank beginner. I enjoy the craft itself. I like the process of matching words to ideas. I like the dialogue of writing an initial sentence that keeps suggesting follow-on ideas and concepts. I learn what I think, doing this. I get to develop a sense of crafting the best way to get all that written out so it can be understood.
It’s a building project, it’s discovery, and it leads to a satisfying sense of meaning, which is a kind of embodied beauty. You writers have a beautiful metier!
I’m discovering a fund of values, reflections and stories that have lived at recesses in myself, just waiting for words to embody them and put them in the world. Finding something that needs not only to be said but thought, thought in words, said to the world, a world that can talk back, is an excellent adventure.
Sometimes I can feel that writing likes me, it really likes me.