| Angie Counios

Talkin' About an Evolution

Dave handed me a book called Show Your Workby Austin Kleon. It’s about sharing your work and creativity. The author and title rang a bell. After a little pondering I realized that I had also been following Austin Kleon on tumblr.com for quite a while.

Kleon talks about process and what he says struck a chord in me.

As a visual artist, I understand process is very important but the final product is what the world wants to see. As an educator, I know for certain that the student process is more important than the product. The path the student takes for learning means more than just jumping to the right answer.

My writing process began a long time ago when I started putting thoughts and stories on loose leaf and storing those pages in a three ring binder. I have no idea where this binder and its contents are. I hope if anyone finds it they have the decency to burn it. I was twelve. I don’t recall exactly how long I did this for but I do recall that the binder was very full. During my loose leaf days, I was painfully shy. I barely spoke at school. I carried on like this through high school. Somewhere along the way the loose leaf evolved into a journal. And somewhere after art school began the beautifully messy sketchbooks.

Over the past years I have worked through a lot of journals documenting life, poetry, storytelling, and art. Malcolm Gladwell, a man who is all about process, says that the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10, 000 hours. I have definitely put in those hours—informally.

When Dave approached me to write with him (I happily did) our work was much more formal (in structure thanks to his knowledge and in time thanks to our collaboration). I went from a lot of informal writing to formal writing, product that could be labeled: script, story, chapter. Not just pages in a journal never to be seen.

Over thirty years, my raw work has evolved. The evolution has been very slow. Now, according to Mr. Kleon, it’s time to share and speed things up. Collaborate and speed things up!Become accountable and speed things up!! The Time to blog. Time to get formal. And I should always, always work but also be brave enough to put it out there.

As a writer, the process to this point for me has been a very interesting one. Kleon strongly encourages creative people to find communities and to share. There's a huge gap from where I was (shy) to where I am (vocal and online). Here I am once again posting about writing publicly letting those who love words know that even as primitive as putting pen on loose leaf can be, eventually it can become a script or a novel or a story, if the desire is there.

There is a process for everything. I mean how long would it take if a person walked into the jungle with a machete to come out the other side with a digital device in their hand? Bronze Age to Information Age. Everything has its evolution, its process. So do I.

Tags: Process, Writing

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