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I’m going to start applying for writing grants and artists’ colonies and all that fun stuff. Mama needs to make some money, you know? So this is the current draft of my artist statement for the first one I’m applying for. I kind of like it. What say you?  (Anyone been to one of these? Applied for grants? Advice? Please??)

(P.S. I’m still in the throes of self-doubt, but it’s not quite so crippling now that I’ve read all of your amazing comments. You people rock. I mean, seriously, you’re the best.)

I write to tell the truth: to discover what I believe and to share that truth with the world. My writing has spanned many disciplines, from blogging to personal essays, book reviews, poems, and creative nonfiction. I’m currently in the process of writing a novel, something that has taken over most of my life, to the exclusion of all my other writing. (Also, somewhat, to the exclusion of playing with my daughter or paying attention to my husband or caring for our two annoying dogs, but I try to ignore that.)

I’ve watched as the characters in this novel have taken shape in the dark corners of my mind, when I thought I was thinking of something else. I’ve listened to their worries and hopes, and realized what their downfall may be. This novel has been percolating for years and for the last year, in particular, it’s been worn smooth as it tumbled through the inner workings of my soul. It’s ready to be written.

Unfortunately, I’m not quite ready to write it. It’s a story that requires more research than I realized at first. Research on cotton farming, race relations, Southern dialects, and psychiatric care, to name a few. I’ve been researching extensively for the past six months, including a research trip with my toddler (that went well, as I’m sure you can imagine). As I write this, I stare at the current pile of books I’ve checked out from the library, waiting there for me to wade into them. I have a bit more to do.

I’ll be ready to start soon, though. I’ll have to. This amount of material can’t stay inside for long. I feel it bulging out of me in odd places. Slipping into conversations that it really has no right to be in. Worming its way into my dreams. Finding its way into writing in the bits and pieces that I simply must write down, right now.

I envision my time at X as a chance to let all those words out in an uninterrupted torrent. I dream that I would be able to write without needing to stop at just the moment of inspiration because it’s time to pick up my daughter from school. Not wasting my most productive times (morning and late at night) because I have to respond to an email or make a grocery list or take the damn dogs out again. I imagine that I would find inspiration in the simple act of being in close proximity to other artists, the creative spirits and good vibes leaking out of them and settling onto me. Isn’t that how it works? Something like that surely must happen, or there wouldn’t be so many artists aching to attend colonies. Right? I’d love the chance to find out.

Thank you for your consideration. If nothing else, please keep in mind that I’m dying to get away from these yappy little dogs for a few days…

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