Rigidity and Fluidity: Living as an Artist

Nope, it’s not me writing naughty scenes and being funny (although watch out for the Driving Home for Christmas blog tour which starts soon!)

I gave a lecture this week on the MA in Creative Entrepreneurship run by UEA, a course I studied on three years ago. In many ways, coming back felt like I’d ‘made it’, like I had things to share, things that might help others on their journey into living and working as professional.

I’m not entirely sure I did, because each journey is so individual, and each person’s life is made up of so many factors. Our priorities, our joys, our responsibilities and our systems all determine how well we do.

In preparing for this talk, I sat down and thought about how my life had changed since leaving the MA a few years ago. It’s important to remember that as part of the MA, I had to create a five year Arts Plan, a travel map of where I wanted to go professionally and artistically, and a collection of the resources I had available to me.
For the most part, I’m following that plan. But that’s because my goals rarely change! I’ve been adapting, trying new things, but what I’ve learnt is that consistency is the key to anything.

Three years ago, I had to supplement my time writing with other work. Whilst I still do that, it’s at least related work that I enjoy doing. Everything I do is related to writing, or wellbeing. And where I’m most excited is where those paths cross!

But the main lesson I realised I’d learned was that (apart from continuity) my work and lifestyle have been built on the principles of fluidity and rigidity. Freelance work, by nature, is fluid. It’s coming and going, not always stopping or staying. When the work comes thick and fast, life gets crazy. It’s like surfing waves and you’re never quite ready for the next. You adapt, try new things, vary your work, find a new specialism, try and new technique. You learn, you experiment.
Rigidity comes in to play when you know who you are and what you’re doing. It’s about not sacrificing the lifestyle, the work, the time needed to do the work. It’s about sticking to your principles, being a little selfish. When what you do comes from who you are (when your brand is an authentic part of yourself, not a creation) then rigidity is built in for you.

So, I’m aware of where I need to be rigid and where I need to be fluid. At the moment I’m riding the crazy wave, but we’ll see how long that lasts before I need to retreat to my hermit writers cave again!

Stay tuned for the prizes and blog tour!

Driving Home BLOG TOUR2 (4)

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