From Vince Gotera: The “virtual blog tour” is an excellent, friendly way for writers, artists, and other creative folks to bring attention to their own work as well as that of others. It begins with an invitation from another artist or writer. Then in your blog you acknowledge the person who invited you, answer four given questions about your work and your process, and then invite three other people to participate. These people then do the same thing, referring their blog readers to the blogs of three more people, and so on. It’s a wonderful sort of “pyramid scheme” that’s beneficial for everyone: the artists and writers as well as the readers of their blogs. We can follow links from blog to blog and then we can all learn about different kinds of creative process and also find new writers and artists we may not have known about before.
I had the honor of being blogger-tagged by Barbara Jane Reyes as part of the above-mentioned virtual tour. You may remember her as the first-ever guest on the Art of Hustle podcast series. She also re-appeared on the show as recently as this week. (Please listen to that episode if you haven’t already. She shares some fantastic insights to her processes as a writer, educator, cultural worker, and of course, hustler.) In the spirit of sharing and making introductions, this here is my own post dedicated to the virtual tour. Read my answers and learn about the work of fellow bloggers below!
1. What are you currently working on?
The biggest projects I’m taking on right now are:
- Tinkering with expanding my training offers in two directions. To make a lower cost / lower commitment program for those new to the concept of professional development and therefore seeking an entry-level program. And conversely, to open a coaching program that is more tailored only to the high-functioning executive and manager. I expect to be announcing these new tiers shortly at Art of Hustle’s coaching page.
- I am also working on the Art of Hustle survival manual. The book, that is. I’m closing in now on the end of Act II — that’s 11 chapters so far — and it will eventually be a three-act volume upon completion.
2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?
There are lots of individuals and organizations offering skill-building opportunities these days. And each offers something unique and valuable to the creative entrepreneur. What I and Art of Hustle aim to provide are concrete results and advice throughout your entire marketing and sales cycle. Getting visibility, growing an audience, generating a sale, and maintaining a loyal customer base. It’s very hands-on work, more independent study than lecture class to describe it in academic terms. There’s no cheating the results. Either you put in the work and have something to show for it, or you don’t.
3. Why do you write/create what you do?
It’s all about service. As an ego-driven youngster, my work was all about making me the star of some universe. It was fun but very isolating. These days, I’m more about making stars of my clients. How can I lend my skills and experience to other people’s success? As a surprise, refocusing the attention away from me has had the effect of making my career more crystal than ever.
4. How does your writing/creating process work?
Interestingly, my acting experience plays a significant role in my writing. One of the first things you learn in scene study is to dig deep and have fun making sense of it all. To do this is to have the ability to advocate/argue for multiple vantage points, even if you’d personally disagree with them. I am a very opinionated individual and I have an exciting but also very all-business way about my services. So, I find myself trying in my head to represent the concerns, biases, and reactions of my detractors whenever I set out to write a new post. I find I’m forced to articulate myself more clearly both technically and emotionally. Granted I may still have people dislike my positions but they’ll be forced to think more thoroughly before just responding with a two bit comment. And we’ll all be richer for it, conversationally, even if we’re coming from different places.
Now, here are three bloggers I would like to introduce you to:
CAITS MEISSNER is an award-winning poet, educator and vibrant creative force dedicated to transformation and healing through storytelling. For over ten years, Caits has extensively facilitated youth and adults in poetry and multi-media expression and healing, and has worked long-term instituting innovative arts education programming at cultural institutions such as Tribeca Film Institute, Urban Arts Partnership, The Facing History School and the Lower Eastside Girls Club.
FAITH ADIELE is the author of The Nigerian-Nordic Girl’s Guide to Lady Problems (Shebooks), a witty, tricultural look at black women and fibroids, and Meeting Faith (W.W. Norton & Co.), a travel memoir about becoming Thailand’s first black Buddhist nun, which received PEN Beyond Margins Award for Best Memoir of 2004 • Co-editor of Coming of Age Around the World: A Multicultural Anthology (The New Press), with 24 international stories ideal for the classroom • and Writer / Narrator / Subject of the PBS documentary My Journey Home, which is based on her (Obama-esque!) life growing up with a Nordic-American single mother and then traveling to Nigeria as an adult to find her father and siblings.
CLAUDIA ALICK is Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s associate producer of community productions. She oversees numerous activities including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Green Show, Open Mics in the Black Swan Theatre, and the Daedelus Project, its annual fundraiser to support organizations like Africare that address #HIV/#AIDS around the world.