Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Top 10 Tasks as a Writer/Artist

I hope you don't mind if I seem to gush about the books I've been reading, but one is better than the next. I'm currently reading Writing Alone and with Others by Pat Schneider, and loving it.

"This is a book about being an artist/writer. Whether your purpose is artistic expression, communication with friends and family, the healing of the inner life, or achieving public recognition for your art--the foundation is the same: the claiming of yourself as an artist/writer and the strengthening of your writing voice through practice, study, and helpful (as opposed to damaging) communication with others. Your task, as a writer/artist, is to:

1. Give your art/writing time.

2. Sound more and more like yourself.

3. Experiment, play, take risks, be brave.

4. Believe in the freshness, vitality, and importance of your experience and imagination.

5. Practice in ways that will teach you to recognize your own voice and to increase its range (as a singer learns to sing higher and lower--as a painter increases the number of colors on a palette).

6. Believe in yourself as an artist-in-training, and protect yourself from everyone and everything that undermines that belief.

7. Observe.

8. Remember.

9. Imagine.

10. Find and keep in contact with other writer/artists who can provide you with an intimate community of support, give you honest critical response, strengthen you, and encourage your work."

Any thoughts?


theadventuresofayoungbohemian said...

I very much like the focus this list has on self-awareness and believing in oneself. Terribly important, isn't it? So often one hears of talented individuals who come to nothing, or even a bad end, for want of a little nurturing.

And of course it's true since it's all too easy to get caught up in the drama and excitement of other people's good opinions.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear theadventuresofayoungbohemian,
Yes, I believe the key to wellness or just feeling good is believing in ourselves.

And, if we need validation from others to feel that way, then it's giving them way too much power, and not giving ourselves enough.


sallyo said...

Sounds like a great book, and one I can see I need. I think that's one of the things I enjoy about writing: the self expression. I agree with you about valuing the opinion of others too much. Wellness comes more from within, and writing is a good way to increase it.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear sallyo,
Thanks for commenting. You've stated it nicely, "Wellness comes from within, and writing is a good way to increase it."


Danielle said...

I am so caught up in the chaos that is called "prepping for the Fall Semester"...I was asked to increase not only my course load but the student capacity for each class due to an increase in enrollment (people are losing their jobs and going back to school I quess)....anyway...there is soooooo much that you have written these last few posts that I want to comment on that I haven't taken the time to do...however...the Fall Semester starts today and I will have my "me time" more allocated to "me things". Thanks for all you write is ALWAYS helpful....and btw...your comment about owners made me giggle ;)

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Danielle,
I had read that you were teaching all those classes, and knew you'd be swamped. But, thanks for the comment. I appreciate it. And I figured my comment on your blog would make you smile!


KJ said...

I can't wait to read that book. It sounds just what I need! Thanks for sharing.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear KJ,
I'm glad it interests you. I think it's great!