Thursday, April 23, 2015

What was it Oscar Wilde said...

Actually it was Blaise Pascal:
I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.

But he wrote it in French.

I spent most of the today working on grant proposals. The thing about writing a grant is that you have to distill the entirety of your artistic self into 200 words. Often fewer. (For reference, this blog post is at least double that.) You might notice that I'm a bit on the verbose side*, so it can be time consuming for me to get all of what I'm trying to say into 2 or 3 paragraphs. But it's necessary to keep things brief & clear so as to avoid turning the grant committee's brains into jelly. Commonly, grant committees require dynamic language, entire words, & very little by way of swear words. Not even the occasional "fuck" for emphasis.

It's good practice tho. Being able to talk about your work in an exceptionally precise manner is a pretty rare skill - & I'd be remiss if I failed to mention that I am frequently annoyed by people who use more words than necessary to talk about their work. I even annoy myself when I do it.

The internal editor is a powerful figure, & I don't think she has great enough sway in general discourse. I like being able to babble with a close friend about an idea we share**, but if I'm talking to people I don't know there's very little that throws me off my game more than not having my words under me. I hate faking it. I hate using buzzwords. And the only time I'm okay quoting Shakespeare is when I'm putting someone in their place.

Consequently, this type of writing is very emotionally taxing for me. It's a good thing I've spent more than half my life trying to get my deepest feelings out of my head & into some kind of comprehensible prose.

I would usually prefer to be painting tho.

*I blame Tolkien.
**I've even watched someone fall in love with me while talking about art. It was incredible. I won't be able to tell you if it stuck tho... not yet.

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