I spent much of Saturday dressed like a jungle explorer for a jungle themed, team building exercise. I was the only person who felt that you didn’t have to be an animal to be in the jungle (it was either ‘explorer’ or ‘tree’, for me). Whilst wearing my hat, I felt like I belonged on an adventure, not stuck in work. I can see now why some artists have little rituals they do to make them feel creative, such as those writers who don special hats when sat at their desk and don’t take them off until they’ve finished what they set out to do.
I feel like I should put that hat on right now as I become entangled in a mass of virtual content, trying desperately to navigate the many sources, pieces of advice, agencies promising they’re the next best thing, and so on… it’s like trying to navigate my way down rapids in a kayak I’ve not learned to steer yet. I’m not a particularly strong swimmer so, if I capsize, I’m kind of screwed. There’s every likelihood I’ll dash my brain against the rocks and the beautifully terrible river will claim me for its own.
That pretty image aside, I’ll get back to my point. I’m currently in search of various ways to develop content now in order to hone my skills. I’m particularly intrigued by article writing but struggling to find avenues of which I should traverse, which then leads me onto online articles with tips and guidance, which then leads to freelance journalist sites, which then leads to workshops and classes I may be interested… only to find a lot of what I may be interested in is for a different level to what I’m at, is in another country/city, is super expensive, or not really working with what I want to do. Hence my concern that I’ll become lost and die (metaphorically speaking).
I have no aspirations of becoming some high-profile current news journalist, but my passion and fascination is with community events, learning and development, business, social issues and anything creative (such as writing, art and theatre). I have no ‘niche’ yet as I don’t belong in a specific sector, I’m not an authority on any of those areas, and I have no specialist training or work experience which then leads me onto the next dilemma – not only is there so much out there in the world of the internet, the majority of it doesn’t seem to work for the ‘bottom of the ladder’ types. I would love to be in a position to provide content I’m paid for, but I know it’s the experience and process of developing respectable work I can use for a portfolio is better in the long run.
So, whilst bound by vines and surrounded by the bright eyes of unknown threats winking at me in the dark beneath the boughs of trees, I forge ahead without any clear idea of where I’m heading. I’ve heard some place that it is the journey that is the destination, and maybe it is. Without this experience, how do I ever expect to advise others in my position in the years to come? I love being at that point where I have the information that can make another person’s journey easier. I’m not interested in keeping that to myself, I want others to succeed. Yes, struggle in some cases makes for more interesting work but not if a person’s spirit suffers for fear of never receiving the right advice or the break they so desperately need.
Regards to all those struggling artists,