Spinning on a Sixpence

Welcome to Chaos

Today I am not going to write about whether gardening is art; that delight is saved for a day next week. Instead I want to welcome all my new subscribers, and thank each and every visitor to this blog over the last 17 hours or so for taking the time to visit, ‘like’ and comment. I am hugely appreciative, and grateful to you all!

If I have learned nothing else these past five months with my daily blogging commitments, I have at least realised the importance of being able to spin on a sixpence (remember them?) and respond rapidly and intuitively to changes of circumstance and plan.

My Big Plan for May has been one of creative survival. With 54 drawings and accompanying text to make for a July book deadline, 16 large projection images to design for an amateur dramatics production for mid-June, and work in exhibitions in July and September, I have morphed and merged unattractively with my laptop and graphics tablet and been welded to my chair for weeks.

Add in to the chaotic mix exam fever with three children, and it’s not surprising the only cups we can find are buried under mounds of textbooks and paper, sporting a fetching film of green mould. Each mealtime (if anyone has had chance to buy food, never mind cook it) is preceded by a hunt for crockery only to find it is still dirty in the dishwasher because no one has had time to press the switch.

My long-suffering spouse suggested the other day I “give up the unimportant stuff”. I stopped gazing at pixels long enough to give the suggestion the time it deserved, and a millisecond later told him he had no idea. He said I needed to focus on the priorities, like the house.

“The house?” I squeaked. The only certainty for me was that the house was not, and has never been, the priority. He asked me how much time I spend blogging, tweeting, reading online. Not enough, I said, and regular readers will understand why. He persisted in doing a silly calculation which purported to show I spend at least 12 hours a week writing my blogs. I harrumphed with derision and went back to my screen, but it did set me thinking. I wondered what it would be like to just say to the world: That’s it, folks. I have other, more important things to do. How would I feel? And I realised that all this activity has given me a real voice for the first time ever, and it would be nonsensical to stop. A No Brainer, as they say.

And then yesterday I arrived home to find my inbox exploding with unread messages from WordPress. I realised instantly what must have happened, and needless to say spent the whole evening enjoyably reading all the comments my post had prompted. There are so many, I haven’t been able to reply in the way I would wish, but I am again properly engaged with the online world: so thank you all once more.

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8 responses to Spinning on a Sixpence

  1. I think the best part about blogging is that it gives us the voice that we might not always have in our home or work situation. And you are right about the housework. My rule here is – the person who doesn’t like how the house looks, gets to do the job…

  2. “The only certainty for me was that the house was not, and has never been, the priority” , think thats how i’m going to live my life from now on. Live in your passion, without it, we are nothing, thanks for this and the previous post!

  3. Art makes me blog & blogging makes me art. It’s a wonderful viscious circle. Keep revolving Gillian. Cheers Sue.

  4. Why doesn’t your long-suffering spouse tidy the house? Or is it that he gets lonely while he’s doing it?

    I have been battling moths, which have been more numerous than visitors to my blog. But I think I’ve won. Sometimes it’s great to have a day off, a tidy house, no pesky little visitors and no pressure to do anything at all.

  5. Hi Gillian
    Lovely to meet you – and to see what a huge response the topic of creativity/structure provokes. I (try to) teach creative writing – and face those doubts. Plus the worry that this may not be an academic subject at all. I find that many of my students write better than I do – yet I can still help them to do what they do better: by expanding their horizons and by finding a voice (if they haven’t one already). Decades ago now there was a theory of education based on the ideas of ‘Instead of Education’ (John Holt, I think) in which one followed where the child’s interests led. This version of progressive education was very little tried, and I suspect has now died out entirely, but really good creative writing teaching stands a chance of recapturing that fine, nurturing, excitement. One has to be brave – it’s much riskier than following those rules about ‘how to teach’ that the current climate imposes through its checklists and its ‘Aims and Objectives’. And ‘rules’ are an issue which previous commentators have addressed on your earlier post.
    Sorry – now I’m running on.
    More to the point: what kind of dog do you have?

    • gillianholding – Author

      And lovely to meet you too! Thanks for taking the time to comment; I have been staggered at the response my post has promptedbut it’s been great to see the conversation develop on a number of thoughtful fronts.
      As to the dog… She’s a French Bulldog called Zazie and no doubt she will be having more to say soon!!!

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