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Step #4: Start Writing About Your Art (And Never Stop)
Most artists insist they can’t write, but the problem is that they don’t make time to do it. They don’t want to do it. You can’t suddenly sit down at your computer or stare at a blank sheet of paper and expect to come up with a brilliant artist statement, bio, press release, or cover letter. You have to work at it.
I can’t think of a better way to begin the process than to start a journal. It’s completely safe because what you’re writing is for your eyes only. No one has to see it except you. It’s a tool you use along the way to help you connect with bigger and better audiences. The equation goes something like this:
More Writing = More Words = More Opportunities to Connect With Fans
Another cool thing about journaling is that there are no rules. You make them up as you go along. Do you need to create discipline? Set aside 15-20 minutes in the morning or evening to write. Do you have ideas leaking from your pores? Keep a journal with you at all times to capture the ideas before they disappear. Or use a voice recorder to catch your thoughts.
When you journal, you’re not trying to craft the perfect sentence. You’re writing just to get the words out of your head and onto the paper. You’re writing to capture the thoughts and to create a pool of words you can fish from when you need them. And you WILL need them.
Writing about your art is nonnegotiable
Ever heard of anything anywhere being sold without words? You need words to talk with interested buyers, other artists, curators, and arts writers. You need words to fill up a website or blog. You need words to tweet with on Twitter. And you need words to write your artist statement, press releases, grants, and newsletters.
There’s no getting around it. You can’t promote your art without words, so you might as well start now. Writing might also make you a better artist because you’re exploring art at a deeper level.
If you aren’t ready to write about your own art, write about someone else’s. Visit a gallery or museum for inspiration. Reading and watching documentaries about art will also grease the wheels.
Remember: You’re not trying to make the perfect literary document. You’re just capturing all of your thoughts before they disappear.
Copyright © 2011, Alyson B. Stanfield