Cowboy Choreography

Chats many and varied were on the agenda this week. Taking advantage of a buoyant sociability and the free time people could squeeze in before the Easter break I turned in a pretty inspirational few days, and felt little more cemented in my current writing in the process.

A lot of that has come down to realising the significance of diversity, both for my inputs and my output. It seems an obvious thing, but it took moments with Matt Jones and Hannah Donovan to convince me that my lack of focus on one definitive project right now was probably one of the best possible states to be in.

Matt referred to work he’d done with Nokia a few years back, and a questionnaire he’d sent to other people working to analyse and project trends. One key element was the question “What do you think will be the most important job title of the 21st century?”, to which one respondent came back with ‘Wrangler’. This is producer, project manager, inspiration engine, troubleshooter, multi-tasker, probably with more than a int of romanticism too (in my reading of it), someone with a idea of the shape a product/service/work, but no linear choreography to get to that end point: The Wrangler demands improvisation and imagination.

Running with the theme, the evolution of media at the moment requires cultural Dungeon Masters, who encourage their ‘party’ through frankly harrowing warrens in order to complete quests. The better Dungeon Masters don’t let the narrative get in the way of the party acting out the roles they have chosen, and get the best out of the players because they know exactly how much leeway to give them.

It strikes me that’s as much a discipline than can apply to the self too, and it’s probably why I’ve got a lot of energy at the moment. I’ve unwittingly found myself juggling several projects (threesixfivestart, ditto, the forthcoming Phonogram Fanzine and last night’s sixfifteen – more on each of them in forthcoming posts), and have made sure I’m giving myself time enough to soak up stimuli for them and exploring different ways around the creative problems they throw up. I’ve hit a really fun equilibrium with them.

But I still keep asking ‘What next?’

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