Last week, I discussed why you should write if you’re a lettering artist. At this point, you may be interested in writing yourself. On the other hand, you’re likely wondering whether it’s going to take you away from lettering. Just like with lettering, writing requires making time for it. It’s definitely possible to create lettering and also write at a high level. However, it requires making conscious decisions and sacrifices to make time for both of them within your day and week.
If you’re just starting out, you should focus on building up your craft first before you start writing. It’s important to have lettering that’s interesting enough to write about in the first place. You need the focus on becoming decent at lettering before you write, with the key work being decent. The goal isn’t to become an expert before you begin writing.
It’s a mistake to wait too long before you begin writing. This is because part when you write, you’ll also learn along the way. When you articulate your ideas to others, you’re able to audit the things you’ve learned and internalize those ideas in your mind. Another benefit of writing is the documentation of your progress as you become a better lettering artist. It will serve as a valuable archive of your progress and thought process as an artist, which you and others can look back on in the future.
My Experience with Balancing Writing and Art
Before I started blogging weekly, I focused on improving my craft at lettering. I spent 3–4 hours every day for 365 days creating a lettering piece. However, six months into that year of creation, I started writing a blog post every month, as a way to start writing with minimal time investment. After 14 months of heavy focus on my craft, I eased into weekly blog posts.
I’ve definitely created less artwork after beginning to blog weekly. However, there are other factors that in played into my situation. During my Project 365, I was creating 7 pieces a week, often just a single word. After the Project 365, and before writing weekly, I was creating around 2–3 larger lettering pieces a week on average. During these times, I wasn’t working or wasn’t going to school at various times. This gave me a disproportionate amount of time to focus on lettering.
When taking those things into account, I now look at my current situation as I write weekly. I am currently studying graphic design, working part-time, and I’m able to create 1–2 larger lettering pieces a week on average. All things considered, I’ve experienced minimal decrease in lettering production. This is just to say that doing both is possible, without much of a difference.
How Will Writing Affect Your Art?
The biggest thing to realize is that writing will only affect the production of your art if you allow it to. Just as with lettering, it requires those small conscious decisions and sacrifices in order to free up time for writing. Try to see writing in the same way that you are making time for your lettering. Rather than taking away from your art, you can say no to other things, in order to say yes to writing. That might include limiting the time you spend browsing social media, watching Netflix, going out with friends, or possibly sleep. Simply freeing up 30 minutes each day from time wasters will give you nearly four hours each week to write.
Start Small, and Build Up
If getting a few hours to write each week doesn’t seem reasonable, then start monthly for several months. You won’t have to invest a lot of time to start out, you’ll get warmed up to the idea of writing, and it’ll hardly hinder your artistic production.
Anyone can start writing monthly. Monthly then leads to caring, and anyone can write weekly once they care.
If you’re on board with writing, but are hesitant to start, don’t be intimidated by making a huge commitment. Start small and share what you feel comfortable with sharing. Your writing doesn’t need to be practical, profound, or life-changing. It doesn’t matter if it’s meaningful to anyone else besides yourself in the beginning. The beginning is about getting yourself excited about writing and developing intrinsic motivation.
Just start by sharing what you’re passionate about. Share your experiences, knowledge, and honest thought processes. Your personal and artistic development will grow along with your writing. Eventually, you can evolve your writing to serve a more practical purposes. But it all starts with giving yourself permission to start small and share freely.
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