Writers and others in ‘creative’ careers are probably the original people with ‘portfolio careers.’ Which does not necessarily mean they have a career in the traditional sense of the word. To me that implies things such as benefits- like pension pots. While we do enjoy many benefits from pursuing our creative career path, material return is a bit like chasing the proverbial pot of gold at times. Material gain can be both a duck shoot and an exercise in weaving known as ‘duck and dive.’ When things are proceeding smoothly, I prefer to think of this writing life as weaving a tapestry, with differant strands of colour representing those other paths that intersect and make up the life of a creative.
Just as the moon went full last Friday, I submitted my Ancient and Wild project to the Cavan Arts Office. Since last summer I have been collecting previous work, selecting and revising it, as well as writing new material inspired by Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark. The result is a thirty-six page chapbook of poems and a ‘hybrid’ prose piece entitled Earth Writing.
The next phase of this project is to get it into print and e-book formats by the end of 2017. These are the new strands to be woven in to the entire work. First comes the dreaming. Then there is the really rough draft, then the revising, editing, more revision and finally a version where I can say, ‘Okay. Enough now!’ But then to get it all out into the world! Some individual poems have been or may still be published in journals or zines. But the whole work needs to be put into shape as a book in hand, or a document in an e-reader. That is the work of the next six weeks ahead.
Which brings me back to how ‘creative’ types weave a multi-coloured career tapestry. We are writers, copy editors, publishers, photographers, typists, publicists. One body who wears many hats! Ultimately, we are the weavers into being, which is what the creative process is all about. We see the weaving manifest on that matrix. Our life is our loom and each strand we work into play is part of a whole. What often looks like a ‘bitty’ career path is actually a making into a whole cloth. Sometimes we don’t feel in control of the design.
It is, however, always a work in progress. Weaving, like ducking and diving, is a learned grace. Watch this space for the next stage in the work that has been titled Earth Writing.