Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Too Too Inside Myself?

Being introspective is somewhere I aim for and work hard to stay in, but I'm not sure if it's working to my advantage at the moment. I feel a little selfish/self-absorbed, (would you differentiate these two?) totally paranoid, and a little too up-and-down.

In 2006/07/08 when I prepared for my solo show and the super busy 16 months that ensued, even though I had periods of frustration, worry, and spurts of pure boredom, I had a clear vision of what needed doing, so the ride wasn't as emotionally taxing.

For the October exhibition, however, I am but 20% of the group, and I worry how others perceive if I asked/proposed/wrote this-or-that, or contacted so-and-so. Most things are discussed via email or in meetings, but even then I have a hard time discerning if we had indeed agreed on issues from time to time. And sometimes it's their way of telling me to go with whatever I like. I just can't be sure.

Today I had to submit a short editorial piece for Art News New Zealand. My perception is, along with Art New Zealand, it is the premier art publication in this country, and though my email communication with Editor Dan has been lovely and I've felt protected, it was time to put on the Big Girl pants and write like a grown-up.

I started working on the short piece, (250-300 words plus one or two pics,) for about a month, and had earlier decided I'd focus on the group's membership and the diversity within it, but write like an outsider. Groups made up of people from all over the world is not rare in New Zealand, but I didn't want to misrepresent the 80% by describing someone's creative process, (especially because two of us still haven't got cogent trains of thoughts on where we are or how we got here,) and to my knowledge there are no work completed and mounted at this time, (though I've seen many in the making over the months.) And the suggestion to make this not "just another" exhibition was what stood out in the magazine's submission guideline.

I checked half a dozen online dictionaries looking for synonyms for "experience" and definitions of "extend" and many other words. Numbers trip me as, in Japanese, we don't specify them, though there are ways to indicate them. Counting vs collective nouns trip me, too, though I'm fussy about "fewer" vs "less". And the killer is "a/an" vs "the" vs neither. 

And then there is the unsmall matter of word choices. We examined a few words, terms and concepts to the molecular level in our meetings and I remembered to use some of them. But talking about feeling like a 16-wheeler truck crossing Lake Superior in too-late spring! In the end I shied away from some of the "arty-farty, if you'll excuse my jargon," as suggested by Editor Dan, as I wasn't selling a corporate mission statement.

In about the third hour, I was more worried about Strands member concurring than Editor Dan or the readers of the magazine, and I was shouting, "Why is an ESL (English-as-Second-Language [speaker]) writing this?".

I gave Editor Dan permission to do with it whatever he liked, and he replied that at first glance it needs tweaking here and there, but possibly nothing major.

Gee, I wasn't planning to blog about the article. I was going to write a paragraph about my doubts vs slow but steady progress with sampling, and the ease of practical decisions. You wouldn't believe if I told you for days I had a hard time getting the article a word over 179, would you? Earlier today Pat had a look at a version and hers was a little under 210.  

This post, up to the previous paragraph, is 624 words. Oh, dear.

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