Welcome to The Total Artist: An Adventure in Expressive Living!
Tonight is the first new moon of 2024, which marks the beginning of our journey. I’m absolutely delighted to be taking this adventure together.
The video at the top of this post is the introduction to Month 1: Writing. To be honest, that’s all you really need to watch if you just want to get stuck in with the creative prompts.
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However, I’ve also included some additional details below for folks who want a bit more.
(I’m new to making these kinds of videos, so this week has involved a fair bit of technical troubleshooting. I’m holding my breath that this works for everyone! The captions are auto-generated, so please bear that in mind if you are using them.)
Month 1: Writing
This month, we are going to explore the creative discipline of writing.
We’ll be looking at two different approaches - prose and poetry - and thinking about how the qualities of clarity and mystery are expressed within them.
For the next two weeks as the moon waxes, we will focus on the first element in this duality - prose and clarity.
Creative Prompt 1: Prose and Clarity
Your creative task:
Choose a project of writing in prose, and challenge yourself to embody clarity as effectively as possible.
Your life prompt:
How does it feel to move through your life with clarity as your guiding intention?
Not sure what project to choose?
Here’s a few ideas for the creative project if you’re struggling to decide what you want to do:
Letter to someone important to you
Life mission statement
Personal essay that retells a memory
Project summary for a grant proposal
Don’t forget that the reflective process is as important (really, more important) than what you actually create. So make the time to go into your cocoon/write in your reflective journal. Even if you aren’t sure what will happen, holding the space usually unlocks new possibilities.
(Top tip: if you’re interested in diving more deeply into the creative benefits of journalling, Suleika Jaouad’s Substack The Isolation Journals is wonderful!)
In a nutshell: the structure of The Total Artist
Each month we will be exploring a different creative discipline from two contrasting angles. The goal is to stretch into fullest expression of these opposing qualities within each theme.
During the waxing of the moon, we’ll explore one of these aspects. During the waning of the moon, we will look into the other. So you will have two weeks to explore each one of these prompts.
Early in the month, I’ll send out a thread with some extra inspiration. And towards the end of the month, there will be a thread to share reflections and discoveries.
The graphic for each theme will help to track where we are our monthly journey as we move through the weeks.
I’ll be undertaking these projects alongside you and sharing my own process and discoveries.
Here’s a video with a bit more about me, why I made this project, and a verbal explanation of how this structure will work.
My project this fortnight: short story
I write a lot as part of my daily life and professional practice. So I’m pretty at home on the page. But I deliberately wanted to choose a form that would stretch me outside of my comfort zone.
I decided to tackle a short story project. It’s probably been a good fifteen years since I’ve written one - and there’s a reason for that! It just isn’t a form that has come naturally to me in the past, even though I’m intrigued by the possibilities.
In the video, I explain a bit about how I’m planning to structure my time, and I’ll also show you what I’ve chosen for my cocoon (aka reflective journal) for The Total Artist.
Let’s get writing!
Thanks again for joining me on this journey - wishing you all a year of wonderful creativity and connection!
Access Support: If you have access needs that I’m not currently meeting, please do drop me a line! (The best email is email@example.com.) I’d really like to make this project available to anyone who wants to participate