Writing Funding Bids (The Writing bit).

Today I submitted my second application to Arts Council England’s Developing Your Creative Practice programme. It’s really great opportunity for artists to develop work without a lot of the pressures that traditional project grants involve. Crucially, there is no Match Funding needed, and no Audience. An Arts Council grant requires both of those things: you have to raise some of the money (minimum 10%) from another source, and you have to have realistic figures for audience repack (i.e. how many people you expect to see your work).

That’s how my first tour was funded; I had money from another organisation (maybe 20%) and I had (hilariously underestimated) attendance projections. I’ll do Project Grant’s again in the future, but for my latest live show, I wasn’t quite ready. I needed to develop a new approach first, which is why I applied to the DYCP programme late last year. That was a success, and I was able to develop a new live show, which opened in Birmingham in April this year. More on why I needed a new process another time.

This time, I’m digging a bit deeper into the process. I’m not going to give too much away about why I’ve applied a second time, but the proposal takes my work with the gloves in a new direction, and one I get asked about a lot. More on that soon. Feel free to guess in the comments.

But anyway. Writing funding bids is a difficult but necessary part of making art sustainable for a lot of people and organisations. I have a few strategies to share over a number of posts. But for now I wanted to give you my thoughts on the writing process itself.

I wouldn’t go as far as to call this a tip, and it’s certainly not a plug, but I find iA Writer really useful for this stuff. A couple of things:

  1. Focus mode. I can keep the line of text I’m writing in the centre of the screen. It’s a really distraction free way to write
  2. Dark Appearance. This is not for everyone, but I find typing white on black background much easier on the eyes and I can type way longer. Some people find it horribly distracting, YMMV.
  3. The killer feature: always visible stats. Especially character stats. The Arts Council Developing Your Creative Practice application portal has a maximum character count – not word count. iA Writer allows you to keep that stat visible at all times. Really useful when you have to hit a really succinct few points in very few characters.
iA Writer.

There are other free apps that do all of the above and more, but after a lot of time trying different things, this is the workflow for me. I’m finding it really useful for all writing too, so I’m gradually moving blogging and lyric writing (when not done in a trusty Moleskine) to here.

So that’s how I write a funding bid. Oh, and I use the Pomodoro Technique, and this one is nearly up. So I’ll save the rest of this thread for another time..!

Drake Music + Me in Japan: Part One

日本は私に会いました。それは私をあらゆる点で得た。
いくつかのバックストーリー。私は10代から日本と日本の文化に魅了されています。それは私がレイキ、人気のある代替医療に興味を持つようになったときに始まりました。私は14歳からこの「癒し」の方法を宗教的に研究しました。1920年代に日本で考案された、これは私の最初の大きな霊的探求であり、当然日本を知りたいと思いました。
レイキの意図された癒しの力を議論することは結局私の興味を失った。レイキを探検したことで、私はチベット仏教へと導く精神的な旅にたどり着きましたが、私の日本への興味は残りました。インターネットの初期の頃、私はついにこの一見神話的な場所について学ぶことができました。私はとてもたくさんの愛を発見しました。マンガ。アニメ。寿司。原宿、カタカナ。私は際限なく興味をそそりました。そして少し恋に。
私の執着が始まってから20年後。私は自分が東京羽田空港に到着したことを知りましたが、信じられませんでした。
私はついにここにいた。
次回:どうやってそしてなぜ私はここに来た…

Japan got me. It got me in every way.

Some back story. I ‘ve been fascinated by Japan and Japanese culture since my teens. It started when I became interested in Reiki, the popular alternative medicine. I studied this “healing” method religiously from the age of 14. Devised in Japan in the 1920 s, this was my first big spiritual exploration and naturally led me to be curious about Japan.

Debating the purported healing powers of Reiki eventually lost my interest. Exploring Reiki all i mately got me on a spiritual journey that led me to Tibetan Buddhism, but my fascination with Japan remained. During the early days of the internet, I could finally learn about this seemingly mythical place. I discovered so many loves. Manga. Anime. Sushi. Harajuku, katakana. I was endlessly curious; and a little bit in love.20 something years after my obsession begun. I found myself arriving at Tokyo Haneda Airport, and I couldn’t believe it.

I was finally HERE.

Next time: how and why I got here…