Sunday, July 17, 2016

Jill McKeowen - response to Kit's questions

Firstly, I've joined this metablog because it's an opportunity to say an enormous 'thank you' to Kit and all artists participating. I'm afraid I petered out at the end of the month due to an unusually demanding week at my paid work, and then I got sick :( so I didn't make it to the finish line.  In this sense, I feel that I kind of 'failed', but, taking Q8, the one about learning: I'm like the student who is barely passing in the class, but whose personal learning has reached beyond what might seem apparent in terms of public record or performance.

My entry to the project was also a little underwhelming. The month had already begun, and I was slow on the uptake mainly because I was going way out of my comfort zone into the online world. I am a classic 'resistor' to almost anything online (except banking!). So one reason for joining the project (Q1) was to challenge myself with technology as well as art practice. 

The challenge of posting a draft everyday was just as necessary for my participation in the world of poetry. I've been writing drafts of poetry and prose for years, but have never had the confidence to take this practice seriously - again, a classic example.  I have even taught creative writing for god's sake, but more from the perspective of empathy with aspiring writers, rather than being a reliable guide who has made it to the top of the mountain. 

So putting work out there on a daily basis, reading the work of others, and exchanging comments was incredibly affirming for the sense of personal identity as a poet (Q10), and the sense of being part of a community. So yes, yes to Q3: it certainly feels like a community. Getting to know others online was great, and has made me eager to meet them/you in person at some point. Discovering new voices and wonderful new work was inspiring and motivating. I just loved seeing how the work flows from artists in that zone of being in the space every day. 

I enjoyed finding connections between some of my work and others (Q2). The first draft I posted was actually a response to one of Kit's poems, and I find that kind of dialoguing seems to be half the point of writing/art. I've often worked like this anyway, i.e. responding to the work of others, because that work, after all, is just part of the world stimulates a desire to express a response. 

The discipline of posting daily has changed my practice (Q5) a little by making me more committed to daily practice than I was, and increasing that practice from 1 hour to 90 mins (so looking forward to long service leave!). It's also encouraged me to work a bit quicker, to produce a bit more each day, and even believe that I can 'work to order'. I've slipped back into just working on one thing at the moment (for a deadline), but the value of 365 has been the lesson to at least draft a fresh idea, or some fresh notes each day.

As for my role in the group (Q9): I wanted to be a 'good' joiner and comment on all work every day, but that became unrealistic in terms of time and energy. Actually, it became a bit like a facebook observation thing for me - wondering about how everyone else saw the 'etiquette' of communicating. I must say, though, that the generosity and enthusiasm of comments is a great testament to humanity and creative energy.       

My role now is one of being an occasional happy reader, and occasional blogger to this site. I like the implication that there will be other 'topics' to contribute to? Reflecting on creative practice is both useful and pleasurable; if that is the aim of this metablog, I'm happy to join in.  But mostly, and once again, heartfelt thanks for the experience.

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