Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Editing Myself

I have been going through yet another period of hiding out – my mobile phone switched off, my home phone off the hook, a couple of hundred emails left unanswered – as I finish writing a sample chapter for the publisher that invited me to submit a proposal for a non-fiction book. It hasn't been easy. I'm not a natural story-teller, even less so when the story is long, complicated and emotionally provocative. It has taken me much longer than I expected to order my thoughts and find the right words to make them not just coherent but also vivid enough for someone else to read.
I've edited hundreds of images to accompany the words and ended up with a dozen pages containing around fifty photographs, each dated, captioned and credited. As tedious as this was, it was nothing compared to the writing. I sat up until 3.30am, combing scores of image files on my laptop as I half-watched old movies on cable with the sound turned down and listened to random tracks on iTunes.
Meanwhile, in the outside world, the blog, Art Is Moving, has published another excerpt from my autobiographical essay, Life Study. If you missed it in the GRIFFITH Review, the first time around, or here, read it there.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the interesting blog. I come back every day to see what you have to say.

1 more bit of editing you may want to do - combing instead of coaming.

Don't worry about publishing this comment

artcanyell said...

You are lucky you can choose to turn off the phone, hide away and ignore the world to think, dream, remember and create in your time on your terms - simply luxurious

Dave said...

Art and creative work is very much like farming. So many people "want" to do it, hold amazingly nostalgic, idealistic, inaccurate ideas about what it is and very little appreciation for the risk, work and sacrifices involved.

In short, there is no luck involved that you don't earn via hard work and persistence. You get more time to create by making sacrifices most people don't want to make and living very simply.

It can be rewarding. Often it's frustrating, tiring, stressful and tedious. It's nice to make something you can show at the end of a day that others (might) want.

But it's an obsession that turns into a business that you have to run and so rarely, if ever, is it luxurious.