Lots of things are happening on the arts campaign front. Too much to blog about here without getting completely sidelined, but out of the exhausting hours myself and many others have been putting in, results are starting to emerge. It's satisfying, it's rewarding—I feel like we're making a difference to grassroots arts and cultural events across Scotland, and it's fuelling my optimism for the future.
I had mentoring today at the Playwrights' Studio. It's sad to think the six month period is already drawing to an end and that next month is the last session. Isabel was ready and waiting for me with a pile of feedback on the draft of the play I'd submitted; as we chatted through some of the characterisation and plot points I suddenly had an epiphany and realised how to solve one of the problems I've been having. We talked it through and concluded that it might be an exciting route to take. I'm enthused about writing the next draft and just hope I can do justice to the piece in the short space of time we have left. I can of course continue developing it after the mentoring period ends; for my own satisfaction, I would love to get it to as near a state of completion as possible.
Isabel has been a great influence on my work over the past few months, encouraging me to take risks, challenge my methods and push boundaries. I've ended up developing a new style of writing for myself, quite different to anything I've written before. I relate this to the idea of Believing Mirrors that Julia discusses in this week's chapter of Walking in this World—about how it “takes one to know one”. I'm experiencing first hand the benefit of having an established artist look at my work and say “This is what you are, or what you might be.”
This line brilliantly sums things up:
“As artists, we are often grateful and indebted to those who help us know the things we know.”
Looking around myself at the support, friendships and relationships I have in my life at present—writers, performers, artists—I feel blessed to be receiving so much encouragement, motivation and guidance. I am both grateful and indebted as the quote suggests, and only hope I can repay my gratitude sometime soon with a piece of work that my supporters will be proud of.
As I was leaving the studio, I took this snap in the common space looking down into the CCA bar. I love the strings of coloured bulbs and lit windows; it's always a fun place to hang out and feel inspired by creativity and art.