Language, my dear!

I feel torn. Like Natalie Imbruglia.

To swear or not to swear? Do I need to clean up my language? Which is more important to me: self expression and effective communication? Or not potentially alienating others?

What purpose does it serve, to indulge in swearing publicly?

I don’t want to assault unsuspecting people with profane language. Fair enough if you visit NakedFace, knowing you might find curse words scattered about. But can I conscionably do that to those who come here expecting an F word free zone?

So why do I swear?

Sometimes, a well placed f*ck is useful (and enjoyable). Sometimes, no other word has quite the same effect.

I haven’t always been a potty mouth. I used to think swear words served no real purpose. I used to sit on my high horse and judge people who couldn’t put together a sentence without effing and blinding. I probably thought I was adhering to a higher moral code. Or that my clean language demonstrated refinement and intelligence or some other such bullsh*t.

I don’t know. That was quite awhile ago.

But one day I started chafing at all the (perceived) restrictions in my life. I got tired of judging and being judged. I got tired of being told how to look, be, act, and live. And I started swearing. Not all the time. I won’t swear around you if it will cause you distress. And if I don’t know you well enough to know if that’s the case or not, I’ll refrain from swearing until you confirm that you’re okay with it.

So it’s rather inconsistent that I swear on this blog.

Perhaps I’ll have to change that. In the meantime, I’ll turn down the swearing … you can relax … for now …

Lots of love,

xxxx

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Does your work suck? … Who cares?

A busker in England 2004.This is what I truly believe about art, about talent, brilliance, all that:

It isn’t about what you produce or create. It really isn’t. That’s just a by product. The real art is who you are, what’s happening inside you. And that is the real work of any artist: to be yourself in as true, as loving, as free, as HUGE a way as possible. That is the only thing you need to be concerned about. Who you are. The art will follow.

If you are a phenomenal human being, you will create phenomenal art.

And if you are a miserable, life-sucking, parasitic human being, then who cares if you create great art. You won’t be happy anyway. And all the recognition and praise in the world isn’t going to be enough to fill the emptiness of your poor little soul.

Are you an artist? Then PLEASE STOP obsessing over whether or not your work is any good. First, it’s really boring, and second, it’s really boring. If you don’t stop obsessing you’re going to end up boring yourself and others to an untimely creative death. You need to get your focus off yourself, and onto BEING yourself.

All of the above is obviously a note to myself. After all, that’s the only person I can change 🙂

How I Think

LeeSun WritesIf you visited this website before 9.30am this morning, you’ll know that it started off as a jumbled mess.

That’s how I think.

My first attempt to build this site resulted in a super complex model based on 7 different blog topics, with several of the topics being super complex as well.

It all made perfect sense to me, and I really loved how the website could be structured to demonstrate a 7-fold model (which was also one of the topics).

I love reflexive creative works: speeches about public speaking, movies about actors, books about writers, and so on. So why not a 7-fold blog about a 7-fold perspective?

But this morning I realised that I was trying to force this poor little blog into a structure that was all wrong for it. This realisation was a long time coming … it’s been trying to break through to my conscious mind for the past week. And all it took was somebody visiting my site and saying, “I liked what I saw, but have to say I found it all a bit confusing as I jumped from one hot topic to another.”

And that’s when it all hit home.

Of course he found it confusing jumping from one hot topic to another. Anyone would. Because my website wasn’t a product of my creative thought process; it was a reflection of it. And my thought process is probably way too disorganised, way too all-over-the-place, to be much fun for anyone else to follow.

I mean, I had pages linking to other pages, mid-thought, then returning to the original page. And I had a huge list of ideas under the IMPORTANT STUFF heading, with many ideas leading the reader on a circuitous journey all around the website.

It was so crazy.

As soon I realised how confusing that must be for anyone who isn’t me, it was easy to whittle down the topics and pages and posts, and to get rid of the numerous diversions and tangents, and to make this blog straightforward. It took all of 30 minutes or so to restructure this entire website. The content was fine. The structure was not fine.

So that’s my challenge when I create stuff. I need to use my creative thought process, which is naturally all over the place, and produce work that is NOT all over the place. I need to be careful not to let my creative thought process leak into the work I produce. I need to distil my ideas into formats and structures that embody the ideas, and not the processes by which I arrived at those ideas.

Do you do creative work? What are your challenges? Click here to reply.

THE CREATIVE PROCESS

Epta Piges, Path Through Spindly Woods on RhodesPerhaps the challenge of the creative process is not the process itself, but simply this: entering into it.

Whether someone thinks of himself as creative or not, the fact is, it isn’t a choice. He must constantly make decisions that originate from himself and nobody else. Even if those decisions are to do nothing, or to follow routine, or to follow someone else’s orders, they are still his decisions. That is the creative process he is always engaged in, like it or not, this creative process called “life” which marches unstoppably forward, tied to the passage of time.

We all need to find ways in our lives to express our intrinsically creative nature.

I want to explore the creative process. This exploration is going to be gritty, hands on, addressing the real issues of what helps creativity and what hinders it.

Bring. It. On.

And entering into the creative process and spirit of blogging, I’ll do my best to write the way I would if I were journalling, and not as though I were writing an essay. That’ll be a challenge, for sure.