The Creative Climb is when you have a clear immediate goal with a deadline and you can’t look up and you can’t look down because you can only focus on where you are to get where you are going.
The Plateau is when you’ve finished a portion of the climb, can take off your shoes, dream, walk around, assess where you’ve been, what you have, what you’ve done. This for me is by far the more difficult aspect of being an artist. Where you can play with a whole host of toys, some helpful, some not so helpful. Creative fuel and distractions in one pretty package.
In my last plateau it was, the administrative side of my brain finally saying “You NEED ME! DON’T FIGHT ME!”
And the fun playful part of my head echoed “YOU NEED HER!”
And the craft part of my brain said “YOU NEED HER!” and politely hung up her tights, put on her shoes and went for a good long walk.
And the admin lady done good; we’ve got funding and support for The Lonely Room I never would have thought possible a year ago. But, again, as a result this creative climb is more difficult because in the last plateau I lost sight of a fundamental thing: don’t stop training and working physically.
Never stop training.
Nothing is more important than staying deeply engaged in the creative craft of choice.
(Oddly enough a brutal reminder of this came from my mother. She has a wonderful way of keeping it all in check for me. When I’m trying to keep too many balls off the ground, she hands me a bucket so I carry them in one hand.)
Wendy Houston wrote this entry against admin…
“ARTISTS AGAINST ADMIN Manifesto
We the undersigned believe in the power of action. We believe in the present not the future. We believe that constantly thinking about the future changes the nature of our present action and will no longer deal in future tenses.
We will delete all requests for plans, plots and deals.
We will filter out all demands for a bureaucratically filled package of work.
We resist all contractual contras and petty form filling.
We abhor the mission statement and the tag line.
We dismiss all notions of quantification.
We hereby declare and restate our intent on action and action only.
From this moment our only intention is think about work, to make our work and do it.
We demand honest conversations, quick decisions, economical organisation and cheap publicity.
We demand simple applications, straightforward dialogue and templates for all.
We demand fast payment for work and transparency for fees.
We demand a streamlined system.
We demand spontaneity and life.
No to target audiences.
No to contractual contras.
No to slow responses from promoters.
No to emails.
No to the proliferation of management and marketing.
No to admin.
WHAT DO WE WANT ? TO LIVE IN THE PRESENT .
WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW.”
…another artist said that successful artists are the ones that know how to get the admin done. hmmmm……
Admin! Admin! Admin!
With all my balls neatly in my bucket at the moment, I’m going to endeavour to be a good dweller of the plateau and keep my balls neatly stored and brought out routinely one at a time. I might even play with two at once. But this time I think it will be easier because this plateau is a very tiny in proportion to the mountain I am currently climbing.