I’m working to finish up my hipster-themed photo book. This one is a photo I caught on Saturday night and had to show you. Enjoy!
There’s a long list of exciting things on the horizon. We’re buying the cottage for our country property and I’m waiting for the proof of Ruins of North Texas to arrive.
I have some cool stuff in the works to include giveaways (squeee!), cookies – yes, I said cookies – and more books to publish. And in the midst of all that, there’s regular life.
We painted the living room this weekend:
It’s a very lovely green and brightens the space. We find ourselves commenting on our mutual love of the new green shade and now we have two other rooms to paint. But, as with everything we do, the painting went off without a hitch and without a fight, and we laughed the entire time.
Tonight was also Open House for the Minty Ninja. I had two realizations: 1) The ninja is much taller than most of her peers, and 2) I’m one of those young, hot mamas, relatively speaking. We live in a small town, but wow most of the parental units are older than I am. I’m used to being the median age for elementary kids’ parents, but in the new school, that doesn’t seem the case. Not that I’m complaining.
There’s the usual: friends coming and going, work drama and successes, family in town – we seem to be inundated with all of our soldiers lately, which is pretty great – and a music festival this weekend.
Life is great.
What if everything just – I don’t know – fell into your lap? What if you didn’t have to work for anything? What if you could just jump into an industry and own it? What if there was no such thing as having to pay your dues?
I came across this graphic online today and I immediately stuck it on Google+:
I’m so glad none of us can jump into writing, painting, videography, photography, wallpapering, engineering, teaching, music-making and the like without fighting our way through it (See also: heart-surgeoning). Call it Creative Darwinism: only the strong survive. The rest are just posers who say they’re something, but don’t do anything about it.
The awesome Chuck Wendig (NSFW!!) has said that you can’t call yourself a writer if you’re not writing. You can’t call yourself an artist if your paints, charcoal, sketchbook, etc. sit untouched in a corner. You can’t call yourself a creator if what you did was years ago and you spend your days reminiscing on the good old days instead of producing something. And the only way you get better is to keep creating things; to keep pushing yourself.
I love the quote above, because it recognizes the artist’s eye involved in the creative process. So many people have the taste to do something great, but it takes tons of trials and even more errors for you to become what it is that you hope to be. I look back on some of the things I wrote back when I started this writing journey four years ago (almost to the day). Some of it is embarrassing! Not that it’s bad stuff; I mean, it’s decent, but if you compare what I wrote then to what I’m capable of scribbling down now, there’s a huge difference. I look forward to what the next four years will bring. I’m sure I’ll look back at anything published in 2012 and think, “I wrote that tripe?”
But, it comes from nothing but self-education, a lot of work, and a ton of fighting through the process. I have to continue to push myself. The artist dies when he becomes complacent. Along the way, I learned to humble myself and pick up some books on writing. I’ve recently started reading genres I’d never consider before, simply to expand my influence and to expose myself to new literary experiences (I’ve recently picked up Lovecraft). I share bits of books and pieces of poetry for feedback. I try to be better the next time. It’s all part of the process; part of paying your dues.
You know what would happen if the world came on a silver platter? The platter would tarnish, and no one would ever create anything worthy of an audience again. If you could just pick up a camera and shoot stills of a few trees outside and be revered as the next Ansel Adams, then no one would pick up a camera. It would be like tying a shoelace: you figure out the basic mechanics and anyone can do it, so why would anyone really go out of their way to do so?
Only the strong, only the fighters who Will. Not. Stop. Pushing. are the ones who make it. And, like Glass, I so wish someone had told me this four years ago. I had to sort of figure it out along the way. I’m still not “there” yet, but I’m a lot closer than I used to be. If you’ve got good taste and you want to create, use that taste! Cultivate your talent; push yourself. Don’t stop fighting for what you want.
Giving up is the only way you can lose.