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Writing Process

The Kitty Cat with Lasers and my Notebook

I know this is an art writing blog but I felt compelled to write about my (art) writing process. It’s simple: I journal (everyday).

That’s right, folks, I still journal. Or, keep a diary. I’ve done this since January 2006.

I love the act of writing organically. With technology, the mind processes many bits of information per second. Writing in a notebook may prove difficult if you’re in front of computer for hours every day (like me – that’s right, I have a 9-5 desk job) but it’s cathartic (even if I’m writing gibberish)!

Naturally, I need an outlet and that’s the reason why I journal as much as I can. It’s where I jot down all the ideas I have for essays and write-ups I want to pursue. If I’m roaming through a museum or gallery, my phone is my handy dandy note taker/keeper/recorder but soon after, I dash off to closest cafe and write in my journal. Some ideas get the boot while other musings garner a bit more attention. As the subject line states, posting a day has really forced me to look at my current writing process and what I would like to do to improve it.

For instance, not worrying so much about what the reader is going to think. Much of my fear, like anybody, is that the reader likes what I’ve written. This is not guarenteed and I’m not always going to write something people agree with or particularly enjoy. As a writer, especially in the Arts, I’ve have to accept this fact and move on. I’m starting to realize the more passionate I am about what I write, it shows.

By Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) is a Filipina American writer, artist, and educator whose academic and research interests include feminist media histories, critical medical anthropology, race and technology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She is a Ph.D. student in Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz as a Eugene V. Cota-Robles fellow. Her work as been exhibited at Ars Electronica, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the GLBT Historical Society.

Her writing appears in art21, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, Ars Technica, Vice Motherboard, and SF MOMA’s Open Space. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture. She is a co-founder of REFRESH, a politically-engaged art and curatorial collective and serves as the program manager for the Processing Foundation.

2 replies on “Writing Process”

Funny thing about journals. I love to write by hand but I have never been able to stick with a diary. It was only after I discovered blogging that I realized the critical thing that’s missing from the notebook journal: an audience. I have to know that I’m writing for someone besides myself, or I can’t do it.

Love the kitty!!!

Great point about an audience. I, too, started blogging for that same reason. Another reason why I journal…I don’t think the rest of the world wants to hear the gibberish. 🙂 I reserve that stuff for any children and grandchildren I may have. They can suffer all the ill grammar, misspellings, and ramblings of a crazy art lady!

My kitty cat is the best. I actually have a picture of her on one of my books (she looks like she’s reading it). I need to find it. She also paws at my laptop keyboard, sometimes.

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