Posted by: Viola | March 1, 2015

Becoming a Writer/Artist in Six Beautiful Ways (With Piano Music)

My poetry reading for today just concluded. It was awesome, as expected! My mother played her piano during the show and so it was filled with sweet, soft music from start to finish. I loved it and hope that the audience was able to listen and enjoy the great music. I have a bit of a sore throat, but I was just great and enjoyed every minute of the show. A huge thank you to all who attended and participated.

As promised, here is a recap of what I talked about today, for those who attended and want some notes to refer to, or for those who were not able to attend and want to share in what we discussed.

Becoming a Writer/Artist in Six Beautiful Ways

1. Consider what you know. We all know something. We may not be an expert, but we have lots of interests. Take stock of all your interests and passions, all your experiences and skills and knowledge. Which things call out to you the most? What areas of interest or artistic pursuits do you feel most comfortable with? What do you know you love? Consider those loves.

2. Be around other artists. They don’t have to be doing exactly what you want to do, but if you know exactly what you would like to explore, then spend time with other artists who work in that realm. Other artists are a source of great insight and inspiration. If you want to be a writer, consider taking a class or workshop, talking to the professor or writer teaching the course. Doing activities with fellow workshop participants or other artists you meet can spark and inspire great collaborative projects. Spend time at the library or online and read whatever you can find about your favorite writers or artists. How did they become artists/writers? What was their journey like?

3. Take some action. Take a small step forward–or a big step, if you feel ready. Write a poem or story. Paint. Grab your camera and take some photos of a subject that interests you. Bake a new cake recipe and decorate the cake in a special way, try something different and fun and rewarding or challenging. Take a class in weaving or wheel-throwing/ceramics. Be adventurous. Get some supplies you need and create/find a space in which to create. Set aside some time to try some artwork/projects and then do it! Get started! Watch how it makes you feel. Does it fulfill you deeply? Or does it bore you and perhaps lead you to try something else? Share your work or journey with someone, tell that person about your project, brainstorm for ideas (if needed)–that person can be a supportive friend or mentor or fellow artist, someone who will encourage you. Do not restrain yourself or criticize yourself. Set yourself free to explore what calls to you.

4. Explore different genres or media. For me that means exploring poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. For others, in might mean trying painting with oils or watercolors, or working with pencil and charcoal, or trying our colors on paper or canvas. Whatever your interests are, be open to exploring what genre or style or method might be best for you, as a vessel or vehicle for your artistic expression. Maybe it is dance. A particular dance form or two. Or comedy and some other form of in-person/stage performance. Maybe its music or singing, or both, or playing an instrument. Have fun. And don’t be afraid to try a genre that is outside your comfort zone, but also be open and responsive to the genres that you excel in the most.

5. Practice. Make your artwork a daily or weekly practice. Find ways to include making art in your day or week. If you are a writer (or want to be a writer), then find ways to write every day, or as often as your schedule permits. Make it a priority to keep a notebook and jot ideas down throughout the day. Or start a blog and write a daily or weekly post pr update. Work on a poem or essay. Or read a book on craft and take a class to improve your skills. Watch online tutorials that are relevant to your work. Help someone else with his/her art project, perhaps meet up and work together or offer each other feedback. Find a way to build your artistic practice into your life, so that you keep busy at it–and get better at it.

6. Life as story or life as art. Consider the story of your life. This is an important concept that helps me view my life as a story that is unfolding, or a piece of artwork that I am crafting. Each day is an opportunity to add some new perspective and depth to what I have already done or experienced. Each day is also a chance to build toward my future and my vision, to craft my life in a new and innovative way, crafting something exciting and engaging, adding colors and dimension to what I already have in my life. We all are artists, when we view life in this way. We can empower ourselves to take charge of however we choose to approach the creative aspects of our daily lives, the choices and decisions we make and how these impact the story/art of a lifetime that we call our own.

I hope these tips and thoughts are helpful to you on your journey! Keep on creating beautiful art and sharing it with the world!

Thanks so much to all who attended my reading and I look forward to seeing you at future readings. My next reading will be in celebration of Women’s History Month. Hope to see you there!

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