It takes a lot to get started on a thing, to the point where you feel like it can just run more or less pretty smoothly, on its own. Ergo:
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It took me five years to get Cojournaling going in the form that works best, for me.
Which is a different animal, I think, than the idea I had had at the start. In 2014, I was convinced that I needed to create some kind of ‘service.’ I thought I could help people by writing prompts for them to begin writing to. I thought that was important. I thought… [deleted]…. of what I love to make.
They’re not writing prompts I want to create, they’re spaces for conversations, connexions, and possibilities. They’re much more than just the odd ‘workshop.’ For me. They’re… art.
Big ‘A’ art
Art, to me, is conversation. I hit on this idea when I met –, who doesn’t like me to call him out, I think, because ‘my girlfriend would get jealous.’ I think about this as a surprise, because, for me, the more people I know and the more variation there is amongst the people I know, the more intrigued I am to keep going in conversing with those friends (and friends of friends). So yeah. Anyway!, — was talking with me at great length about improvisations, and I didn’t know it at the time, but what was happening was I was slowly beginning to change. I was no longer going to say, ‘I am a designer.’ I was no longer interested in saying, ‘I am a writer.’ Something in between. A world between those.
…a design that shapes a space for remarkable connexion, in which experimentation is welcome and delightful and surprising writing can emerge.
Enter S P A C E.
S P A C E was the thing that started me on so many new trajectories. Going and seeing. Letting this flow (albeit with a lot of rocks in my shoes, rocky starts, that is, and rocky ongoings, and difficulty in continuing things). But if I’ve learned anything from the 2-year roving journey that was Atelier S P A C E, it’s that the things that matter to you the most, when you look close at your heart and pay attention to them, never really go away. For me, it’s shaping spaces for those who do not know one another to see each other. In person, is best, but if not in person, next best is in hosted conversation spaces like forums and protected pages on blogs at DK, most of the time. Kismuth was just… sitting around here, for a few years, being ‘my book site.’ Whatever that means. I don’t really care much about selling my books. I took them off Amazon several years ago because, in solidarity with indie bookshops and the indie ethos everywhere, I just don’t support their ethics. I mean, really. Be a person who cares about art, not vanity publishing, come on. I don’t care if it sells. I care if it’s good.
‘That’s f*!king obscure!’
And that’s where I have — to thank, who makes obscure as hell things, but which are good. [Deleted]. In contrast to that kind of conversation, with –, in which I learned a lot about how to make things without really thinking too much about their outcomes or how people will potentially respond, I had the one below. This was not that long ago, while on the road in Latvia. At a place where many crisscross to find their way…
This person kicked things off like this:
‘Oh! You’re a writer?’
And I said, ‘Yeah.’
‘Anything you’ve written that I would have heard about?’
‘How many books have you read this week?’
‘This week? This week!? None, I mean, I’m busy…’