Standing On The Shoulders of Giants. By Alice May

Standing On The Shoulders of Giants.



‘If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.’ (Sir Isaac Newton 1676.)  This is a metaphor for society making discoveries by building on previous advances. It is a concept that can be applied to both authors and artists alike, inspiring each other to reach greater heights with their work.

So as both an artist and an author, I am calling out to all artists and authors now! Don’t hide away with your easel or keyboard. We need to connect with other creative people. It helps us to grow and learn.

As writers we have a tendency to hide away with our keyboards and type frantically as we write our books, articles and blog posts.  I know from experience that the artist often works alone too, hidden behind the easel. But when the book is finished and the rejections start to come in, or the painting is dry and nobody buys it, then it can be easy to get disheartened.  That is when you need to spend some time in the company of other creative people so you can share the highs and lows of your journey.  We all have something to offer each other and together we are stronger.

For example, from an artist’s perspective, I popped into Atelier in Saxon Square, Christchurch, Dorset last week. (This is an artists’ co-operative where you can pick up the most amazing gifts and see original art by extremely talented individuals.) I was there to interview the artist Sharon White about her experiences putting on several major, solo exhibitions in Dubai. She paints the most beautiful, mixed media pieces and I am totally in awe of her talent. We chatted for ages and for me the experience was very inspiring. In fact I ran home afterwards and started a new painting straight away.

From the author’s perspective, I was lucky enough to spend some time this weekend with members of the Facebook group Book Connectors in Exeter. It was an incredibly uplifting experience to meet so many authors and, of course, not forgetting the bloggers too.  (Thank you so much Holly Martin and Kim Nash for organizing it and inviting us all.)

The four key messages from the afternoon, for me, were:

Don’t give up

Marketing options are endless and it’s not always possible to know why one type will work for some authors and not others.  So don’t be scared to try something new. Keep going till you find the one that works for you.

Self-publishing is a totally legitimate way to go. Ignore those who are dismissive of this publishing route, especially if they haven’t ever written a book themselves. Be brave and get your work out there!

It’s a waiting game. Building your profile as an author will take time. Get on social media and join groups, chat to people, grow your digital identity. Above all, relax and have fun.

There was so much positive advice flying around in one afternoon that, again, I came away totally inspired and eager to get on with my work both as an artist and an author. As soon as I arrived home, I painted the new cover for my next book. ‘Phoenix Rising – More tales from the house that sat down.’  Once that was done I blasted through three chapters with impressive speed and then wrote this article.

So my message is stay connected my author and artist friends and enjoy! J x


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