January 2017 calendar

Metablog – January 2017

Welcome to what I call the metablog. I started writing these posts on my personal blog to serve as a diary of sorts about my experiences writing it – hence the name. As the months went by, they became more of a general commentary on my creative activities and my creative processes as I was writing less often. I made the decision to move them to The Five to Nine as I started this project specifically to explore and interrogate creativity and creative practices – my own, as well as others’ – and so feel that these sit better here.

You know, I sit here, writing this metablog post, and I’m fully aware that The Five to Nine is the only one of my projects for which I didn’t manage to write a word during January. The irony isn’t lost on me. I was happy to write an ‘editor’s letter’ kind of post for both Croshare and The Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium; I’m aware that there’s only really any activity on those sites around the time there’s a project, and I’m worried that people might infer the projects lie fallow during those times of the year when we’re these aren’t busy – that’s simply not the case. I hope I’ll be able to write, or encourage others to write, something for each of those two on a monthly basis; there’s always something worth saying, so why not say it?

I also managed to write a full post on my personal blog on the manufactured and ‘synthetic’ hope that immediately follows the new year’s fireworks. It took me a little while to get over the fact that some people may interpret its content as overwhelmingly negative, but I managed to do it and click ‘publish’. I’m planning a short series of posts in February as part of LGBT History Month; I did this for the first time in 2015 and found writing these to be quite cathartic. I don’t feel the need to protect the parts of my life concerning my gender identity or sexuality as much as I do with others, and so writing about these provides me with a way to not only get on with writing as an exercise in itself, but to do so in a way that I hope will benefit others seeking opinions on, and experiences with, this area.

I’m often struck by how writing about ‘real’ experiences doesn’t feel ‘creative’ as such; I’m simply relaying information or anecdotes; there’s nothing made, there’s nothing transformed… It’s all truth. In a way, I’d argue that non-fiction writing isn’t as creative an activity as it is a cultural or social one, but the act of writing is so deeply connected with creative activities that it doesn’t seem prudent to make such a critical distinction so… Necessary. Perhaps that’s something for me to explore in more detail once I’ve managed to get back into the habit of writing regularly – If I ever do.

I hope I do.

I found the time to experiment a little with crochet this past month. I wanted to work with small 3D forms, and designed and made two small amigurumi brooches – one looking like an ice cream cone and the other like a strawberry. I don’t know what I’ll do with these just yet; I keep staring at them on my desk, thinking about the other forms I might make using the same techniques, or on a different scale. If I’m satisfied with the idea in my head, and know how I would make it if I needed to, then does it matter if I don’t? Especially since I don’t really know what I’m going to do with these things. I guess that’s something else for me to think about, though.

I’m also preoccupied with the amount of time it takes to sit down and make something. I love making – I love being able to take materials, tools and methods and use different ones to bring to life the wildest of ideas, but if I spend an evening making one or two things, I become aware of the fact that I could have spent the same amount of time writing three or four things. This points once again to perhaps having too much on the go, or wanting to undertake too many different creative activities at the same time.

As I look forward to February, I’d quite like to try to force myself to concentrate only on one ‘type’ of creativity – writing over designing and making, given the blog posts I want to write for LGBT History Month… But, as I type this, I know it’s an unreasonable expectation to set of myself, given the fierce desires I always have to work on many things at once. I don’t know whether the solution is to try and work on fewer things; to try a different type of time management, or, simply, to get some more time from somewhere (ha).

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