It seems I’ve only blogged twice in the last month. I’m not surprised really. My brain, at least the wordy part of my brain, has been used up and sucked dry by the Arts Council application process… more on that if we get it!
It is the least artistic thing an artist can do. It’s relentlessly stressful. It takes weeks. Days and days of unpaid work, speculating basically, betting on yourself that you can do it and they’ll give you the money to do it. I can’t imagine any artist who works full time at another job being able to do it… that search for numbers, information, statistics… that construction of the clear and concise narrative is a real knack. It takes dedication and hard work, concentration and time. Most of all time. It is made worse by the process and platform you have to navigate, but I’ll not go into that here. I’m too tired.
Now, I don’t want this to be moany really. I do get a certain masochistic pleasure out of getting it right. Time will tell if we have got this one right. The Arts Council are a marvellous institution, and I’ve already had a fair bit of money from them for various things. I’m just saying that when they say yes, you’ve probably already worked loads of hours unpaid in order to reach that point.
I get quite nerdy about words… definitely “archive” rather than “bank”… and “critically” rather than “purposefully”. And, despite the fact that I usually can’t work out the Indian restaurant bill, the balancing of the Arts Council budget does give me a bit of a thrill. I know.
The application platform is not good for the visual mind… imagine trying to type your application on an old typewriter through someone else’s letterbox using two bamboo canes. You can only see two lines at a time, and you can’t compare one part of the form to the other unless you print the damn thing off at regular intervals. I said I wasn’t going to moan, sorry.
Anyway, my point is that I’m knackered. I can’t make work, although desperate to. I have the words of a verse whizzing round my head, but can’t seem to pin it down. I’ve not done any housework, or much cooking. I’m having trouble making conversation even on a very basic “hasn’t the weather been cold?” level.
I can’t wait to press the submit button, just so I can get six weeks peace before the result comes in!
In that six weeks, I have a few gigs, the nine women exhibition and performance at the end of March, so a fair few rehearsals. The songs are developing, and I want to work on them more.
So just as a bit of light relief, I post a link to The Sitting Room performing “Five Words” at Arena Theatre Wolverhampton. In honour of Arts Council England, I feel I should rename the song “33 Characters (Including Spaces)”