I thought of calling this post “The Life List Club: My Virgin Voyage” but thought that might send the wrong message…
Welcome to Life List Friday! Anne-Mhairi should be making her grand entrance to this blog-hopping party anytime now. I’ll put a margarita in her hand and add her post when she arrives.
In the meantime, if you click on the link below you’ll be transported into the next room of this daisy chain blog-hopping party, which is over at Sonia G. Madeiros’ blog. My inaugural Life List Club post, Show Up For Your Writing will start over there at 8 am California time (and no, that doesn’t mean noon).
Since this is a party, I figure it’s fine to chat and drink for a few minutes while we wait for things to kick into high gear. (I’m waiting for the right moment to jump up and start the table dancing).
She and I talked about two things I thought might interest my writer pals.
#1 – Art is art is art
The process of art is universal. This is not to say that any of us approach it the same way or do the same things but, as Clair and I talked today, it became clear to me that the emotional process of art is the same, whether you are a mixed media artist like Clair, or a writer like so many of us.
To set the scene:
We walked into one artist’s booth with an amazing painting of boats moored at a dock in the ocean. You could practically hear the waves gently lapping at that boat when you stared at that picture.
Clair was transfixed by the water. She must have gazed at it for 20 minutes, walking up until her nose nearly touched the canvas, then backing away and moving right and left to see it from every possible angle.
I heard her muttering to herself, “It’s so simple. Why can’t I get it right?”
Water is Clair’s kryptonite. It’s her perceived Mt. Everest of what stands between her and artistic independence and success.
Every time she tries to paint water, she gets discouraged, leaves the canvas unfinished, hates it, has artistic tantrums. (Sound familiar?) You name it, she’s done it…all in the attempt to draw water as well as she wants to. Great water is the pinnacle to her, and one she despairs of ever reaching.
In the pursuit of her art, it is water that has defeated her every time. For me, it’s been finishing long works of fiction. What is it for you?
#2 – Don’t minimize your talent
In case you haven’t guessed this part of the story yet, Clair has more amazing art in her pinky than most people have in their entire body. Her mosaic tables are stunning; her ceramic tiles to die for. She has a sense of color that makes you want to weep with joy that they created the paintbrush.
But this water thing gets her goat. She does a million arty things really well and still feels like a failure over her “sucky water.” Why do we so often let that ONE thing defeat our dreams?
She got on my case because, when I refered to her work, I called her a “real artist.”
Clair: “You’re a ‘real’ artist too, you know.”
Me: “Yes, but–.”
Clair: “There’s no ‘Yes, but…’ I’d say your kind of art is MORE important in some ways. I can draw, but you can describe what I draw and get people to come buy it.”
She went on to clean my clock a little further on the subject but you get the gist. The moral of this discussion? Don’t minimize your talents just because you want to be better at one particular thing. Your strengths will outweigh your weak points most of the time if you just trust in them.
Perhaps you are a kick-ass world builder. Maybe you write great sex, or funny jokes. Whatever it is, do it a lot. Celebrate it. All those A+ talents will help you build up the confidence you need to tackle whatever personal kryptonite is keeping you from success.