You said it (Moxie survey highlights)

Viccy Adams

Being professional can be summarised as a combination of ‘being well prepared’ and ‘being a decent human’.

When is a survey not a survey? Perhaps when it’s designed by two creative writers and asks you questions such as ‘What’s your professional superpower?’ rather than ‘which of these two brands do you prefer?’.

Our terrifyingly long online survey on creative professionalism (21 questions, yet still answerable in 15 mins) gathered responses from 71 individuals worldwide. We asked you for help and you delivered- thank you people of the internet.

A majority of you said in your feedback that you’d be curious to know what our results are. It’s a complex thing to share as this was feeding into a year of different R&D activities and in itself was a test of format as much as a way of gathering responses. We can’t simply publish the full data set as it in…

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First Thursday event in Newcastle

Viccy Adams

Tomorrow lunchtime (2 March) I’ll be chatting about the Spreadsheets & Moxie project and what Sarah Salway and I reckon it takes to develop and sustain a career from your creative practice.

Part of the NCLA’s First Thursday series, the event is designed to fit into your lunch hour and starts at 1pm in room 1.75 of the Bedson Building, Newcastle University. It’s free, no ticket booking required, and you’re welcome to bring your sandwiches.

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The gift of space: Compton Verney Women’s Library residency

Viccy Adams

One of the loudest things in my mind still from the residency a couple of weeks ago at the Compton Verney Women’s Library is the lack of real books in the room. Fortunately that’s something the staff there are in the process of changing as part of the Unsilencing The Library launch in June. Still, I felt oddly sympathetic to the blank bookshelves during the residency: they mirrored by own blank mind over the past couple of months. A library without books to read and a writer who isn’t writing. The fake books spines round the doorway were beautiful but unreadable.

The chief joy of a site-specific residency is space to create and to respond, preferably without the weight of having to do so in an immediate sense. You never know what deep triggers are being truck by spending time in a place or researching a particular topic, and they can come…

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Incessant typing

Viccy Adams

As I write this, I’m on a train heading for a residency at Compton Verney with Sarah Salway as part of our Spreadsheets & Moxie R&D. We’ll be hanging out in their rather unusual and special Victorian Women’s Library while Compton Verney is closed to the public, exploring and responding to the space ahead of sharing some of our work at the end of June as part of their Unsilencing the Library.

The cover image for this post is of the painted book spines decorating part of the library, so you can see why i’m so excited about the rest of this week. I’ll be blogging and broadcasting about the experience over the next few days; keep an eye out on my usual social media channels if you’re interested in seeing behind the scenes of a unique space, as well as some of the bones of a fledgling writing…

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Have you done our survey yet? #spreadsheetsandmoxie

Viccy Adams

As Sarah and I make our final preparations for the Spreadsheets & Moxie Christmas Party (to be conducted via Skype, with crackers & pre-posted Secret Santa), we’ve agreed on a closing date for our R&D survey on Creative Professionalism.

For those of you who’ve missed out on previous posts, I’m working with fellow writer Sarah Salway on a year-long R&D project funded by Arts Council England. We’re taking a rounded approach to professionalism for creative practitioners – e.g. artists, dancers, photographers, actors – with a particular focus on women writers.

One element of our work this year is to reach out to fellow creatives to find out more about their experiences and views on professionalism within our industry. The people we’re targeting are self-identified professionals within one or more artistic areas. You might work part-time, you might just be getting started, you might already be an international superstar. We…

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A moment of writing zen by a babbling brook #trythisathome

Viccy Adams

Having recently discovered Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter books, I’ve been ignoring the world in airport departure lounges in favour of battling demons and teen angst. I’m a massive fan of YA books and I think they’re one of the best ways for any fiction writer to think about the importance of a strong plot as well as a strong story. Due to travelling up and down the country to see friends & family for early autumn weddings, I’ve also been thinking a lot this week about finding quiet moments to write, think and read.

For anyone else trying to channel a moment of calm to focus on their writing, here’s a recording of a babbling brook taken in the grounds of The Hurst during a recent writing retreat. Perhaps imbued with the memory of John Osbourne tramping around with his dog, or simply the clarity that time in nature brings, stick it on a…

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Our Associate Artists & the questions they raised #spreadsheetsandmoxie

Viccy Adams

For those of you who haven’t come across it yet, Spreadsheets & Moxie is one of my current projects: a year of R&D (funded by Arts Council England- thanks guys!) working alongside the inspirational and talented writer Sarah Salway to take a rounded approach to professionalism for women in the creative arts. More details here. Skip to the end of this post for an exercise to try at home.

img_3040 Viccy & Sarah in the middle of a silent walking (& silent selfies) exercise in the grounds of The Hurst, Shropshire

Over the coming months I’ll be blogging some of the exercises and approaches we’re taking, and soliciting views and experiences from the wider creative communities (FYI men: your thoughts are very welcome) via an online survey. Today I wanted to introduce a layer of the structure we’re working within. As you’ll already have gathered, the project is led, jointly…

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Spreadsheets & Moxie: the project begins

Viccy Adams

I’m writing this post on a train, heading for a week at the Arvon Clockhouse with fellow writer Sarah Salway. We’re launching ourselves with enthusiasm into a year of R&D, funded by Arts Council England, on what leadership looks like to women in the creative arts. My bags are packed with paper, crayons, literary card games and temporary book tattoos: all important working tools alongside the yoga mat and notebooks.

The full name for our project is ‘Spreadsheets & Moxie: a rounded approach to professionalism for women in the creative arts’. Sarah has blogged a beautiful introduction explaining what ‘moxie’ is in the context of our work together (I also love the definition suggested to me by @elyzah via Twitter that it means ‘a kind of charismatic bravery‘). We’re spending the next week in retreat together and will be broadcasting snippets of our activities and discussions on Periscope so…

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