Saturday, August 9, 2014

Week #22 Ace of Mentors (posting late this week - sorry)

I suppose in many professions colleagues will talk shop. Exchange ideas, experiences, etc. Drawing the Ace of Mentors sort of brought this to my mind because what the Ace of Mentors is all about is the critical exchanges between artists. By critical I mean in a positive light. Giving constructive feedback.

In taking inventory of myself in light of the emphasis of importance by the Ace of Mentors I have to say that at one time I had a network of several individuals who I could count on to provide critical view - a workshop type approach to my work and I would reciprocate. There was not a formal structure to this but it worked. We had a writing group in common, however it was not the group as such that participated in this but a couple of individuals.

I can be pretty self critical and I don't mind others providing  constructive criticism as well. In fact there are an abundance of people I could share work to and they would tend to  respond with nice flowery responses. Saying, "Oh, I like that" doesn't work for me. If you truly like something  tell me why you like it, but if something isn't working for you  I want to know that  and maybe why or what about it sucks.

I have missed this exchange of work and discussion. The Ace of Mentors is reminding me just how critical this is to artists. We look at our work with a very narrow vision. Others can give us alternative perspectives. I'm not saying that in the past I have always made changes because of another's shared assessment, but if I haven't, the decision has been made with at least the knowledge of other perspectives. To stick with something in a case like this means I have at least chosen to do so after examining more/other possibilities.

My resolve over the next  couple of months is to seek one or more poets that would consider swapping  material to workshop. Either in person or on line.

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