Tag Archives: writing

be the OG…don’t steal from the OG

So rumor on the street is that everything’s already been done before…well that really blows, now doesn’t it? What’s a DYVA to do when the glitter she’s all ready to throw has supposedly already landed…years ago…maybe even centuries ago?

(S)HE MUST FIND A WAY TO REINVENT THE WHEEL, duh. You’re right, it’s not broken, but it’s now his/her responsibility to make this (new, cooler, hotter) version of the (dance-)wheel unique and distinctly NOT the original…unless it’s an updated edition/restaging/ummmm…you get the point.

The line between plagiarism and originality (given the circumstance, of course) can be tricky, but it definitely doesn’t have to fall within that gray area of questionable intentions if you’ve not only done your research, but are also smart about your actions moving forward.

Steal my glitter...I will behead you. Just kidding...sort of...

Steal my glitter…I will behead you. Just kidding…sort of…

Inspiration for a new project often comes from a variety of sources and people, it’s then your job as an artist to take said inspiration and use it as a springboard from which new ideas are developed; as in…move far far away from the original version by layering many your own ideas over it. The goal here is to make sure that even the most seasoned and educated eye will have to take (at least) a second glance to realize the similarities.

Make sure to cross check that any glaring light of familiarity to the OG choreographer/writer/designer is neatly suffocated underneath your layers upon layers of Dyva-glitter. Rest assured that somebody will notice, if not the artist themself…and let’s get serious, nobody wants to be known as a cheater-wiener.  Again, take this advice if and only if you’re claiming to be original, if your intent is to pay homage to a choreographer/writer, make it known.

Loud and proud, baby.

As we approach a new semester, lots of new projects will be conceived and it’s so easy to borrow ideas (sometimes unintentionally) from the people you work with on a daily basis. Just make sure to take a step back every so often throughout process to ensure that what you’re “creating” is actually YOUR creation. There’s nothing worse than finishing a project that you’re so proud of and then having almost everyone refer to it as somebody else’s work.

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starting new

It’s been an interesting start to 2013 to say the least—I barely even had time to set a resolution! I did however manage to survive the apocalypse of 2012, and it appears as though you have too. Congratulations!

Within the first week of the New Year, I celebrated my mom’s new marriage as well as mourned the sudden loss of my grandfather (this guy #9 on the list…my favorite man in the whole wide world…), and with these two enormous events literally falling back to back, I was faced with the dilemma of having to write two separate speeches about some pretty important people in my life in a just short amount of time. How was I possibly supposed to start writing something that could do either relationship justice when there were literally a million things to say?

As I sat there staring at not one but two blank pages on my computer screen, it occurred to me how metaphoric this situation was to life in general. Sometimes life happens unexpectedly, sometimes you can see it coming, but either way, new beginnings often require deliberate action (at least they do for me). I very rarely approach a new situation/task without some premeditated game plan stored away in my back pocket; once I have a plan of action, I’m fine…I just struggle with the whole ‘make a plan of action’ bit…

Where and how to start??? (my two least favorite queries…)

I find that with anything…starting a paper, a new semester, or even choreographing a new dance (ok…especially with choreography), that once I make the giant world of opportunities into a small pond of options, I’m all of a sudden free to make a move; surprise, restrictions are actually my friend! I used to think that imposing limitations would only hinder my creative process, and I worried that by assigning a specific task to my process I was eliminating the creative portion of the job. What I failed to realize however was that if I didn’t choose a focus, my work would invariably turn out disjointed and disorderly.

Ummmm…have you ever anchored a boat out in the middle of the ocean? When all you can see in either direction is water, it can become extremely daunting to figure out which direction will take you home at the end of the day. Sometimes all you need is a compass to inspire a successful pathway, you just have to remember to pack the compass before you leave the dock in the morning.

take me home!

take me home!

In the case of my grandpa, I thought about his legacy; rather than trying to recall every memory, I wrote about how his values have impacted my life and how our relationship was unique because of those principles. I took a similar approach when writing about my mom, I thought about the principles of our family and how this new marriage would feed them. As I said earlier, I could have written a million different things about either person, and if I had, nobody but myself would have understood it—I knew that the end result needed to reach a broader audience, so I wrote accordingly.

Soooo…how do you make a compass of your very own?

-First, you must paint a clear picture of what “home” looks like. Detail everything you know about the finished product before you even get started.
-Pick out one or two details about your “home” that are important to you. Consider this information as you build a plan of action. Consider drawing a mind-map.
-Work slowly and commit to each step as it develops. I often work backwards in my head before I make any move physically.

I find that sometimes I need to work out of order; maybe jumping ahead to a new paragraph/movement phrase is what you need to find clarity in what you’re doing in the present moment. Nothing is precious; throw things away if they aren’t working and keep making strides forward. Keep your eye on the prize and your emotions in check.

Here’s to new beginnings. It’s going to be great. Happy 2013!

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