July 2017 calendar

Metablog – July 2017

With only a couple of weeks to until the end of August, it feels a little peculiar to write a metablog post talking about June and July – something I’ve felt before, when I used to write my metablog posts over on my personal blog, and used to get distracted or disillusioned, and left my writing until very late in the month. But, I’ll write – I’d feel worse than I do now if I didn’t get something down.

So, yes, as per what I wrote above, I am trying to catch up with two months in one post. June and July were peculiar months for me. Writing May’s metablog post wasn’t just some kind of pressure release… It left me a little deflated, conscious of the lack of return on investment in developing my creative portfolio over the last few years – in terms of creating something that allowed it to become my primary means of earning a living as well as something I enjoyed doing ‘just for me’. As a (rather counterproductive) result, I didn’t end up feeling particularly motivated to do anything about it, and wasn’t able to bring myself to do much creative activity at all over the last couple of months.

My personal projects, and The Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium, were the ones that suffered the most; at the time of writing, it’s been a good couple of months since any work has been done on the latter, meaning it’s now on some kind of extended unofficial hiatus. Not what anyone had intended at all following the PortsConsort update published in May, but it’s what’s happened. So, I guess it’s what happens now that’s important. I thought I would be able to keep up with odd bits and pieces here and there to keep it visible – to keep it alive in others’ minds. Right now, it feels as though it’s on minimal life support, to be honest. I live in hope of being able to do something with it before the end of the summer that begins to reconnect everyone who decided they’d like to be part of that community – some small step(s), at least. Anything that moves it forward.

Speaking of The Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium and then communities brings a couple of thoughts into focus. I guess the thing that strikes me most, thinking about that’s (not) happening with this particular project, is that I am no longer an active participant in those creative communities I admire and who inspire me. I’ve all but withdrawn from them. And this is as equally frustrating as it is liberating. On one hand, I’m watching the creative life pass me by as I watch others get on with theirs. Inwardly, I celebrate their successes, and am quite envious of some for their determination, motivation and perseverance.

On the other hand, this almost complete absence of any ‘creative responsibility’ is wonderful. I feel as though I’ve been relieved of something. Imagine if you no longer had to pay any bills and could spend all your money on whatever you wanted – that’s now I feel about the ‘free’ time I have now I’m not spending it on creative projects. It’s lovely to fritter away these minutes and hours going for a walk or reading a book instead of working on something. It makes me question whether or not the creative and freelance life I wanted was ever the best thing for me – it’s something that deserves rigorous consideration, but I fear I’m not in the best place to give it this at the moment.

All of the above said, I have enjoyed some creative success as of late as suggested. Over the last couple of months, the only project on which I’ve managed to make any significant progress has been Croshare, and despite mentioning in May’s metablog post that I would look forward to a bit of a break from this, we’ve already started working on a new project, immediately following Trawl for Portsmouth Festivities. I’m not going to ignore any opportunities that present themselves, even if that does mean jumping from project to project, something I’ve previously said I can’t do when it would appear the opposite is in fact true.

I love what I do as part of Croshare, and find both the processes and products of its projects highly rewarding. I guess that… I just want to make sure I’m in the right frame of mind to give it everything I possibly can. I wouldn’t want another collaborative project to end up on hiatus, or in a position where I couldn’t contribute what I want to its success.

What to do with the rest of August? Not much. I’ll carry around my notebooks and pencils, and some sock knitting, and a few odds and sods that will enable me to react if I’m struck by inspiration; however, I don’t expect I will be – nor will I go looking for it.

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