I’m writing this post at an Edinburgh blogger’s meet up at Sofi’s bar in Leith organised by Georgia of IdeaSpotting. It’s an attempt to be sociable *and* get some blogging done, so I’m interested to see if it’s possible to do both at the same time!
Mainly because I’ve not been very good at making the time to post recently (as you may have noticed). And maybe, just maybe, a bit of friendly peer pressure will help..
I figured I’d try and reignite the blogging spark by doing a short round-up post. I used to do these on my personal blog and they were quite popular. It might be that these are better suited for Sundays in future, to tie in with..
Share Your Wares Sundays
I asked people to share something creative they’d completed during the week on the Facebook page each Sunday. It’s had a pretty good reaction so far, especially considering I haven’t done an awful lot to publicise it yet.
Emily Dodd shared the story of 11 year old Adam Bojelian who can’t speak or write with a pen but creates poetry by blinking. Emily just happened to be at the bloggers’ meet up too, and she told me how she met Adam and his mum at a recent Social Media Surgery in Edinburgh. Following Emily’s excellent advice on getting the word out they have now raised over £2,000 for his trike ride to support disabled children and their families.
Baker at Catfish Parade also posted his reaction to a post by Mars Dorian which has created a bit of a stir.
Basically Mars reckons that trying to do too many things at once is a recipe for career disaster. He strongly advises against trying to be a jack of all trades, master of none. Now a lot of bloggers are multi-talented and proud of it, so there was a bit of a backlash.
Personally I’m a little torn about this one. I really enjoy Mars’s blog because he isn’t afraid to make strong arguments, and I basically agree with his essential point – he’s suggesting clarity and focus is best when communicating who you are with other people – which is basically the message of this blog too.
I think though that who we are and what we do in life evolves naturally over time, so it’s not like we have to choose one thing and stick to it. But maybe it’s a good idea to define what we do in a clearer way. What do you think?
Please do visit the Facebook page and have a look at all the cool creative projects that other people have been posting.
I’ve also started posting some interesting stuff on the Clear-Minded Creative tumblr page. This content feeds through to Facebook but if you’re on Tumblr you might prefer to follow it that way. Tumblr is a great way to find really cool content and also a good way to try out blogging if you’ve not done it before, because it’s so easy to use.
I loved this quote in particular:
Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you.
A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work.
Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through. – Ira Glass via Sam Sketch
And to go back to Mars Dorian, here’s his advice on how to close the gap.
p.s. You can also submit your creative work to the Tumblr blog if you ‘re not a fan of Facebook.
So, I did get a blog post out of the meet-up, as well as meeting some interesting new people – including unashamed gossip-monger Andrew Burnett and film blogger Mark Davidson. And congratulations to co-organiser Trudy Peaches who published her very first blog post whilst she was there!
In the meantime, now that I’m back in the blogging mindset, keep an eye out for another great interview and more coming very soon..
4 replies on “Creative Catch Up – April”
Thanks for including me in the post, Milo! It was an interesting discussion and it keeps going on, still.
I really love the idea of “share your wares Sunday” too–so great to inspire each other just by mentioning our creative acts. Thanks for getting us all going with it! I’ll be sure to chime in there often.
Pleasure Baker, yes it’s an interesting one, I nearly missed the boat on that one so glad you posted it on Sunday.
Glad you’re up for it. I’m even finding it useful for myself because it reminds me that I should be actually doing something creative, not just talking about it! Look forward to reading more of your stuff.
Finally a spare morning presents itself, and chance to do a bit of writing and catch up with what’s happening in the online world! Not quite sure what to make of that guy Mars, I think my natural reaction is to get all sarcastic and pretend that he probably isn’t right, but that’s because he keeps writing ‘luv’ and using words like ‘hardcore’.
Perhaps I’m naive, but I get the feeling that anyone who’s talented enough will naturally gravitate to their ‘thing’ regardless, and that that ‘thing’ will then evolve over time. I appreciate there are exceptions to any sweeping statement like that, and there might be some very talented people out there who still feel the need to describe themselves as one thing/another/and something else, be it for confidence reasons, or because they genuinely can do all those things.
But you can say you’re interested in ‘writing’ and still struggle through scripts, sketches, fiction, non-fiction etc before settling into a rhythm and actually start developing something (a bit of an auto-biographical example there!), so I would probably suggest his argument is quite flawed. The internet is wonderful in that there are outlets for support and advice (something this blog has offered to me and, clearly, many others too), but it doesn’t have to be done in a preaching fashion.
Or with repeated uses of the word ‘hardcore’. But if there are people who like advice in that style, then each to their own!
That’s a hardcore comment Paul! Glad you’ve been able to get back to the writing.
I think Mars is deliberately a bit over the top in his opinions and style because it helps him stand out, and get people talking about him and his blog posts. I’d say it works pretty well for him, but clearly it’s not to everyone’s tastes.
I guess it depends what you want – if you’re trying to make a living online as he is (and a lot of his readership probably aspire to doing), then it probably helps to be crystal clear about what it is you do, so that there’s no room for confusion. If you’re using it more to explore different creative avenues then I don’t think it matters as much.