A stutterer finding a voice

Mind you, writing has its challenges. They’re just refreshingly different.

I’m a writer, but not a notepad writer. It probably seems like a strange quirk, but I took most comfortably to the keyboard. What helped me take strongly to an artificial communication method? Since about age four, or farther back than I can remember, I haven’t been able to talk without a stutter, so that’s how deep it goes. I have a better time sharing my feelings using an electronic product than using my voice, unless you can get me to be really calm in quiet company. Also, my handwriting never got that smooth.

I came into writing for the uninterrupted expression of what’s going on in my oft-dissociating mind. If I try to speak it to you, it’s rarely a matter of not knowing what I want to say, and almost always a matter of being physically blocked from saying it. There’s a certain sanctuary here, a relief. That relief is found in the process of writing, but not often the written product.

Mind you, writing has its challenges. They’re just refreshingly different. I can honestly feel like with self-awareness, reflection, and effort, those challenges might be mitigated or overcome. When you know what it’s like to have a disruption in your life that’s always there, and might be made worse by self-awareness, reflection, and misdirected effort, you might learn to better appreciate those pursuits where effort pays off.

How To Write An Artist’s Resume

As an artist, you’ll feel as though that you can’t create a regular resume.

As an artist, you’ll feel as though that you can’t create a regular resume. This is true to some extent, but you are still going to need one in your professional life. That’s why you need a well written resume that shows just why you’re unique and special as an artist. Here’s how you can write your resume and get the jobs and opportunities that you want.

How your resume should work

As an artist, your resume won’t look like most peoples’. However, you can draw upon some of the conventions of resume writing in order to get a resume that does you justice. The point of most resumes is to give an overview of what you’ve done over your professional life. The way you lay it out will be up to you, but this guide can show you what will need to be included as you write.

The artist’s resume layout

Your resume should contain the following sections. You may choose to change them around depending on your needs, but they will need to be included in some format:

  • Contact details: You’ll need to start with your name and contact details, as they’ll be needed if anyone reads your resume and wants to get in touch. What amount of detail you give to this section is up to you. You can simply give your name, contact number and email, or you can include your address too.
  • Education: This is especially important if you’ve got any degrees or qualifications in art. If you don’t have the qualification yet, include when you expect to graduate and your expected grade.
  • Professional experience: This will be any teaching and professional positions you’ve had that are relevant to your current career. You’ll need to include the dates, the employer, and the location.
  • Awards/grants/fellowships: Here, you’ll be listing all of your art related achievements. Think including residencies, grants you’ve received, or any awards that you’ve won in your line of work. Remember to keep this section related to your art itself.
  • Exhibition record: This is possibly the most important section of your resume, and so may need to be included further up the document. You’ll need to document every exhibition you’ve been a part of, either as a group or solo. If you have a few different exhibitions under your belt, then it could be split into two different sections to highlight both types.
  • Collaborative partnerships: If you work in fields such as digital arts or new media, then you may need this section. List the works you worked on with others, as well as where you created them.
  • Bibliography: Here’s where you’ll need to list where you’ve been interviewed, written for publications, or otherwise been published. The best way to document this list is by using the Chicago Manual of Style.
  • Lectures: If you’ve given lectures on your artwork in the past, this is where you’ll document them. You may title this section ‘Visiting Lectures’ or ‘Panels’, depending on how you’ve presented in the past.
  • Collections: If some of your work is in collections, list them here. You’ll need to state the name of the collection or collector, the city, and the state.

Basic Resume Writing Tips

Now you have your outline, you can start writing your resume. Here’s some tips on general resume writing that will help you write a good document.

Keep it to the point

If someone is reading your resume, they don’t have time to be poring through all the details of your life. Keep your resume just to the points in your career that are relevant. You may find you need to edit it, depending on what you’re using the resume for.

Check your facts

The gallery your work is currently in may be working under a different name, or the school’s phone number may have changed. Before you include a fact, check it. You don’t want to miss out because you got something simple wrong.

Use online tools

Online tools can help you get your resume written well. Try these tools when you’re writing:

  • Resumention: You can give your details to the expert writers here, and they can create a professional resume for you.
  • Best Australian Writers: Find yourself a writing tutor here, and they can walk you through the resume writing process.
  • UK Writings: This specialised resume service will proofread and edit what you’ve written, to ensure that it’s at its best.
  • Top Canadian Writers: Talk to the writers here if you’re stuck with your resume form, as they can often help you with any thorny issues.

Use a good font

The font you use is important. It needs to be easy to read and appealing, especially as you’re in a field where you’ll be paying attention to the details. Never go below point 10 for size, and use a font such as Arial that’s easy to read.

Don’t forget your formatting

Good formatting is crucial. Use headings, bullet points, and white space to draw the reader’s eye to where you want it to go. If you use the above format, your resume should be laid out pleasingly.

Keep multiple formats

Different institutions will want different formats when you submit your resume, so keep this in mind. A Word document is a good idea as it’s easy to update as and when you need to. As well as this, keep a PDF version in reserve, as the formatting stays the same no matter what system you view it on. If an institution doesn’t specify a format, use a PDF to send your resume over.

As you can see, it’s easier than you’d think to put a proper artist’s resume together. All you have to do is follow the outline provided and you’re halfway there. Make the proper adjustments depending on your career, and don’t be afraid to let your achievements stand out. A good resume can show people just where you’re going, and how you’re going to progress in your career.

About the Author – Jennifer Scott

Jennifer (Twitter – @jenniscott1390) is the business developer that works in different areas of education, technology, security and various types of online marketing. Prior to business developing Jennifer was consultant at Deloitte, and managed security services provider and developer of a wide range of security solutions.

Sometimes You Have to Get Lucky

I’m again searching for another book idea but, who knows, it may, once again, come to me when I’m not looking.

Never been to Berlin. Did not speak more than a few words of German beyond the phrase made famous by John F. Kennedy: Ich bin ein Berliner. Didn’t know much, really, about escapes at the Berlin Wall in the 1960s, or the chain of events that led to its fall in 1988. So how did I end up spending more than two years digging under the Wall — that is, researching a book titled The Tunnels?

Since the early 1980s, I had written many books whose subjects were clearly chosen by design, sometimes years in the making or at least months marinating. But this one was different. I don’t know whether to be proud or embarrassed that it came about by pure chance, thanks to my daughter, and a sunny day.

Although I am, sadly, old enough to recall growing up in the 1950s and 1960s with Berlin as an almost daily hot topic in the news, I was never obsessed with the Wall. My generation, after all, had racial segregation, nuclear war, Vietnam, and Nixon to contend with here at home. This began to change for me just in the past decade. The German film, an Oscar winner, The Lives of Others, explored the horrors of living in East Berlin behind the Wall, focusing on the Stasi-enabled police state. It became one of my favorite movies of recent years. Then I co-produced an acclaimed film documentary, Following the Ninth, exploring the political and cultural impact of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. One of its five segments featured an appealing young woman who grew up in the shadow of the Wall.

So I might have been slightly primed, but while looking for a new book idea this never crossed my mind. What I needed was an intimate encounter. That came after my daughter, who had just gotten her Ph.D. in London, unexpectedly moved to Berlin with her husband and their three-year-old son. They happened to take a flat in the old East Berlin, near Alexanderplatz, about a mile from one of the most famous Wall neighborhoods along Bernauer Strasse. On our first ever visit to Berlin, however, my wife and I had trouble encountering any remnants or legacy of the Wall — the barrier was torn down so quickly and completely, and there is no major museum to visit.

On our final day, however, we decided to stroll to the most extensive Wall memorial site which runs for several blocks along Bernauer, even though it was barely mentioned in our guide book and very poorly described. Fortunately it was a bright, sunny, day in May and it did not rain — or my life might be quite different today.

Exploring that site, which includes patches of the Wall and the “death strip” that discouraged escapes, we agreed it was one of the most moving, tasteful, and overwhelming historical sites we had ever experienced. And I was most struck by the stories of attempted escapes by East Germans under the Wall, some successful, others ending in tragedy. What was most incredible about the tunnels was that, almost unique in history, they were dug not from imprisonment to freedom but in the opposite direction. — from west to east. Students in West Berlin excavated the caverns to spring friends, lovers, and family members, even strangers, from the East. Almost on the spot I decided to explore all types escapes, over a wider period, for a possible book, when I returned to New York.

When I did that, however, I found that chronicling the many attempted flights from the East would be daunting, especially from 4000 miles away, and with no German language skills to conduct interviews or read a single document. But I discovered something else: there was an amazing, long forgotten American media angle to this subject. And I had been a media writer for many years, along with serving as editor of Editor & Publisher for many years not long ago.

It seems that NBC had aired a film covering the digging of one particular tunnel in 1962 which sparked controversy but ended up winning three Emmys and now considered a landmark in television history. (I may have even watched it when I was in my early teens.) What few know today is that the Kennedy White House and State Department tried to bully NBC into canceling the show, for reasons still murky. They did succeed in causing a postponement. That got my attention, as well as offering an exciting American focus for my narrative.

Researching further, I found that NBC wasn’t alone in funding and attempting to film a dig under the Wall. CBS tried to do it a few weeks earlier, and the correspondent was none other than the legendary Daniel Schorr. His program never did make it on the air, killed by his boss under pressure from the Kennedy team. But why? State Department and CIA documents and cables had just been declassified — another lucky break for me — and they were riveting.

Suddenly my amorphous “Berlin Wall Escape” book had come into clear focus. I might be able to explore this deeply — with a sharp American angle — by organizing it around those two tunnels and those two controversial network projects. But how could I accomplish that from so far away, and as a non-German speaker? Would I be able to make substantial use of the Stasi archives and other sources in that country? Were any of the key tunnelers and escapees still alive and willing to talk?

Another lucky break: My daughter, like her dad, does not speak any Deutsch — but her husband, Stephane Henaut, is half-German and, of course, fluent. So over many months he was able to help set up meetings with the key tunnelers and escapees (another bit of luck: most were still alive and living in or near Berlin), accompany me on interviews to serve as interpreter, then translate the tapes at home. Just as important: he was able to provide translations of hundreds of pages of Stasi documents and chapters from German language books.

And that former East Berlin woman featured in my Beethoven documentary? Turns out she’s now living in Los Angeles — and she translated hundreds of other pages of Stasi docs and pages from books, conducted a couple of key interviews with Germans from afar, and provided almost daily fact-checking.

There’s the expression, it’s better to be lucky than good. I hope both may apply to The Tunnels. Now I’m again searching for another book idea but, who knows, it may, once again, come to me when I’m not looking.

Greg Mitchell’s THE TUNNELS: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill will be published by Crown on October 18.

This post is contributed as Guest post by Greg Mitchell

My Writing, My Novel

I am a proud Granddad with five grandchildren who wrap me around their fingers.

I think, like a lot of people, I always thought that I would love to write a novel. It eventually happened, although I did wait until I was in my fifties to make it happen. I don’t know where I got the idea from to write a Fictional Story based on Historic events, it just seemed to pop into my head. It took a little bit of research but that wasn’t a problem as you might expect the World Wide Web is full of information about the Ripper. The story grew as I got more into the plot, I used to dictate the story in my head when driving or traveling on public transport. The funniest thing was that I actually thought the ending two thirds into writing the novel and had the final chapter written early. I was always desperate to get to a PC and type in my commuting thoughts, it led to a lot of Proofreading and a great many punctuation errors, but I did not mind this one bit as long as I got my thoughts down on paper or in this case my PC Word Document

I suppose the inspiration to write my novel came from the publication of my poetry book, after years of writing the odd poem here and there and losing some in the process, I decided to self-publish. It was a great feeling seeing my poetry book on the Amazon Website. The feeling grew when the novel appeared about 20 months later. I cannot express enough my gratitude for all the help I have received in the publishing of my book from my publisher, from the very first consultation to the finished article the team have constantly kept me up to date on the progress and have been extremely helpful and quick to respond to my many questions with a very professional and friendly approach.

My Poetry Book

This book sums up me up I think , it has lots of humorous poems .Lots of poems have been developed from jokes that I knew back in my young days. There are views on Life in the present day and from the past, Romantic ones wrote from the heart. I write when I’m inspired, sadly I have misplaced quite a few of the poems that I have written over the years and although I have tried to recreate some again they never seem to have the same feeling. The book is there to be enjoyed, easy reading and a few laughs

About Me

I grew up in a working class family. I went down to the shipyards as a young 16 year old to serve my time as a Marine Fitter. After 15 years, including my apprenticeship, I moved into the Shipbuilding offices and trained as a Planning Engineer. After three years doing this job I made my way into the big wide world and became a traveling Contractor. I worked in many places in the UK, Europe and the Far East. I am currently still working as a Planning Engineer thirty three years later. I have a wonderful wife who cares for me and three lovely daughters. I am a proud Granddad with five grandchildren who wrap me around their fingers.

Free Your Mind, and the Rest Will Follow

This is not a post about the magic of the singing group En Vogue.

When I was a kid, about third grade, I used to have to ride the bus home from Church School every Wednesday night. I hated it. It was an old style bus ride that literally stopped at everyone’s house rather than in a central location from which we could all walk home. For some reason, my house, which was pretty much in the middle of town, was one of the last stops. The students on the bus were kindergartners through 8th graders. Everyone knows jr. high kids are the worst. They shouldn’t even have allowed them in Church School because they pretty much are the devil incarnate.

Every time the bus pulled up to the church, I tried to guess the safest place to sit. That place was, of course, the farthest from the jr. high kids. Usually I did okay, but every once in a while, my young impressionable mind was horrified by the talking points of these older individuals and their need to push all of the limits of decency post church-ing for an hour and fifteen minutes.

Ironically, it was these semi-human beast people that made me want to write.

One fateful evening, I was stuck in the seat directly behind one of the male and female creatures. They were deeply caught up in an early teen awkward discussion about school and good vs. bad teachers. Eventually they got to their writing teacher. They hated her because she was already like 30 years old and “totally didn’t get it.” She had the nerve of asking her students to write a story about their dream Christmas gift. It could be one they wanted to give or receive.

Without actually planning on writing anything of the sort, these two big kids started talking about what they wished they could write.

“I want a giant flying bed pan so I can drop all my waste on her house!”

“I want a giant plunger so when I poop I can plunge it so hard it will shoot out of her toilet!”

“I want to give her the gift of being beaten by the ugly stick so her boyfriend leaves her for the math teacher!”

They went on and on, mostly to dirty for me to rewrite to mixed readership. For some reason, that conversation clicked in my young mind. I could and can write whatever I want. I don’t have to write about a specific GI Joe guy I want for Christmas. I can write that I want to be GI Joe for Christmas and finally just take Cobra’s hood off and find out what the heck is actually under there.

From that point on, I loved to write. I would literally close my eyes and try to come up with the most crazy mixed up idea I could. It was easy to reign it in if needed, but a blast to start out in a whole different dimension. I still didn’t get great grades, because I never really bothered to edit, but my teachers loved reading my stories.

That’s how I came up with the characters for my book series Sugarbeet Falls. In the story, a young boy named Xander learns that through an ancient family gift, he has the power to conjure up superheroes to help him through his days. He learns of this power when he finds himself in the restroom with no toilet paper. He wishes for a blinded hero who can deftly change a toilet paper roll while offering the victim their favorite magazine. Poof! The Bathroom Manager (BM) is born.

Xander fights evil in his town with a whole bunch of wonderful characters and heroes that can only really be found if he clears his mind and thinks for the stars!

Check it out if you have the chance. Its on Amazon, or www.sugarbeetfalls.com.

This post is contributed as Guest post by Ryan Acra.