In researching for my book, I’ve been spending a lot of time visiting other authors’ websites and blogs whose books are up the same alley as mine. I’ve been examining how they present their ideas and content and what kind of outreach they do to their audience. All of the very successful authors have extremely comprehensive packages offered on their websites: an active blog, a series of videos, testimonials, a facebook page with thousands of followers, etc. In particular, I’ve been looking at Hugh MacLeod’s blog, “Gaping Void”. He wrote a book that is along the same vein as mine called “Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity” that is very popular and in the mainstream.
I’m trying to emulate these strategies to present my book, and it got me thinking about how much of an anomaly I think I am in the academic fine arts world. I’m one of the very few fine artists in academia who blogs, and I’m highly transparent about my creative process, documenting every moment, every failure, every accomplishment for all to see. I know some fine artists in academia who write, but it’s usually aimed at academic journals and art publications. My book is just about as far away as you can get from academic writing, which is exactly I think what makes it unique and new for a fine artist.
I never thought about myself as a writer, and yet my book practically wrote itself when I sat down to work on it. I want to talk about what artists don’t talk about: the struggles, the failures, the messy part of the creative process. I find those aspects much more informative and interesting than the successes, which can frequently seem inaccessible and removed to the rest of us.