Saturday, 17 December 2011

After the Artist's Way — Week 4

This has been a great week.  Busy, productive, creative, focussed and full of enthusiasm.

First I finished editing a couple of short stories I'd left resting for a bit, before making a breakthrough with the new play I'm writing following last week's mentoring session.  On Wednesday I enjoyed a festive night out with other writers, actors and freelancers from the arts community, followed by a trip with my fellow playwright mentees to Edinburgh on Thursday.  We had introductions with the literary representatives of both the National Theatre of Scotland and the Traverse Theatre to talk about their submissions processes, before catching Jo Clifford's latest play Tree of Knowledge.  Afterwards we indulged in a brilliant Q&A session with Jo herself to learn more about her creative practice, and followed that up with a trip to the Scottish Parliament to be part of the audience of NTS's rousing Staging the Nation event on political theatre.  Friday night found me performing in my last gig of the year with two festive concerts at the new A' the Airts theatre space in Sanquhar.  I had time to catch up with friends and family throughout the week, found a production assistant (my lovely friend Karen, no less), and tentatively confirmed the last dates and venue for my spring tour—by this time next week, everything should finally be in place.  The week was full of action and activity:  things are happening.

Amid all that busy-ness, I've been reflecting on how 2011 has gone, and made a few of those big decisions for the future that I've been hinting at in my blog for a while.  I now have a clear set of goals to work towards in 2012.  It doesn't matter that some of them are terrifying and involve major change, nor am I concerned about how difficult or unattainable they might seem right now—they feel right, they will motivate me, and they excite me.

For this week's artist's date I went right back to the roots of The Artist's Way and did one of the first things Julia suggests in the book—stationery shopping!  I've been on a stationery ban for most of the year; I must plead guilty to the crime of buying far too many notebooks and pens in the past, to the point of having a stockpile that would put WH Smith to shame.  This week however I decided to treat myself and went off in search of a 2012 diary.  I already have my Equity one for throwing in my bag, and inevitably keep track of most things electronically anyway, but I do still like to have a decent journal to write in.  I found the perfect companion in Paperchase, a smashing brown leather page-per-day diary.  This might not sound like your idea of an exciting day trip, but the simple pleasure of this purchase followed by coffee and a mince pie while watching the madness of Christmas shoppers bustling by outside really cheered me up.

There's still half of December to go, but I'm ending this week with a fresh optimism for 2012.


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