Life can be messy. So can creating (maybe someday I’ll share a pic of my palette post painting). Both can also be scary. We get used to our lives and routines or our way of creating. Deviating from our norm sounds super scary.
It’s like we’re on our normal path, doing our normal things, and we come to a bridge. That bridge wasn’t there before, and we’re not sure what to do. We can’t see to the other side of the bridge, and have no idea what may be in store for us.
Should we cross it? Turn around and go back?
It’s an individual choice, but crossing the bridge means experiencing new things. Sure it’s scary, but it can also be incredibly rewarding.
A bridge appeared in my path a couple of years ago. It was a scary bridge. It interrupted my life and took me onto a completely new path. At first, I didn’t like the bridge. It took away some of the things I was used to in my life and creativity.
However, after being on the bridge for a while, I discovered new ways to create and took up painting. Back in high school (like forever ago), I painted in oil, but I hadn’t picked up a brush in decades.
I did my first two watercolors in May 2021, then I got a macro lens for my cell phone and started taking pics as my creative outlet (my big camera is difficult for my aching hands to hold most of the time). I went back to painting at the end of February 2022. I haven’t been doing it long, I know, but it’s invigorating to have a new creative outlet.
So, even though the bridge that appeared in my life was scary, it also blessed me with new opportunities that I may not have experienced otherwise. The bridge has increased my bravery as I share my art. I even launched a Patreon account (something I never thought I’d be brave enough to do). If you’d like to check it out, here’s the link:
A dear friend sent me some photos she took while vacationing in Galveston to use as painting inspiration. Yesterday, I used one for this watercolor. It’s not an exact replica of the photo, and it isn’t meant to be. As with writing, painting inspiration is taking something and making it your own.
I changed up the lighting, added things, took other things away, just as I would if I were writing a scene based on the photo (or a memory or other bit of inspiration).
We experience the world in different ways because we come at it through various lived experiences. Though we can share moments with others around us, the occurrence will likely vary in some way for each person experiencing it. Some may look at this painting and feel peace, others may feel the excitement of sailing the ocean, still another may feel fear because water terrifies them. There’s no right or wrong way to feel, there’s just different.
We are the only ones who lived our exact lives, felt our exact feelings, thought our exact thoughts. Therefore, no one experiences the world or shared event in the same way. That’s a good thing. We’re unique.
It’s also good that even though our emotion may not exactly match someone else’s, we’ve likely experienced at some point in our lives the emotion they’re feeling. Not in exactly the same way, but it’s close enough to allow us to understand and connect with those around us—if we choose to.
Kindness. Love. Understanding. We need more of those in our world.
Almost two years since my last post. I’m the worst. Okay, maybe not THE worst, but I’m terrible at updating. Health issues have been interfering with my writing life. About a year ago, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Medication was supposed to make me feel better, but it hasn’t completely done the job. The suspicion is there’s something else going on. Cue the testing, testing, and more testing. One result came back positive for scleroderma. Hoping that is a false positive, and I have an appointment with a rheumatologist in June to get yet more testing in the search for why I’m always fatigued and have muscle/joint pain and/or weakness.
Anywho! The fingers don’t always cooperate with the typing, so writing time deteriorated. Needing some sort of creative outlet, I turned to painting. Back in high school (I graduated in the ancient year of 1990), I did oil painting, and I’m pretty sure I may have done watercolor and possibly acrylic work as art class assignments, though I’m not positive. I do know I haven’t picked up a brush for decades. For real. Like maybe the last time was 1992-ish? I had my oldest child in 1993, and I know I haven’t painted since before he was born.
February 3rd, I picked up a brush and tried an acrylic painting. This was the result (completed February 24th because I didn’t work on it every day):
After that single attempt, I decided to try watercolor on March 13th (completed in an hour or so).
I decided I liked watercolor, and during March, I was on a roll and tried to paint every day (didn’t always succeed—though some days I painted two). These were the results:
The second boat/mountain painting was because my oldest son wanted one, and the first one sold to a friend on Facebook. 😳 The pink trees was a commission for another friend who is donating it to one of the centers where she receives treatment (there are many pink ribbons in the trees if you look closely).
The last painting was done March 28th. My health put me in bed this last week, but I’m feeling better, so I’m hoping to paint again today. I also got Nuance Dragon dictation software, so I’m going to get back to writing as soon as my voice is working (sore throat for the past two weeks).
And that’s what I’ve been doing. Well, before I started painting, I was doing macrophotography with my cell phone (regular camera was too heavy). Here are some of my favorite pics:
And that’s what I’ve been doing lately, so you’re basically caught up with my life. If you want more frequent updates, I do better on Facebook. Just sayin’. 😉
Writing is like making cinnamon rolls. To make the dough, you need the right ingredients—characters, wants, needs, plots. You mix these all together and knead into a structured pile of dough—your first draft.
Now you wait for it to rise.
Pretend it doesn’t exist.
Go play a game or binge watch a show.
Once enough time has passed, go back to your dough. Punch it around a bit and knead it some more—yes, more revision.
Good work! It’s time to roll it out and fill it with goodness in the form of more revision. I know! It feels like it’ll never end.
But not yet.
It’s time to roll it up, cut it into appropriate chapters, and shape it into the best story you can. You may think you’ve already done this.
Do it again to make sure.
Cut out the not so great parts . . . but maybe set them aside for now. They might inspire later.
Okay, set your work aside again. Let it rest and rise. When you go back to it, pop it into the oven for . . . more revision. Hey, no one said this would be easy. Or, if they did, they’re big, fat, lying poopy faces.
Your story needs to bake so it can grow and change and become even better. No one likes raw dough. Unless it’s cookie dough, but we’re not making cookies right now.
When your work is baked and the best you can make it, add a bit more revision at the sentence level.
You need this. This is the icing. You must have icing. The icing perfects the whole thing.
Don’t skip the icing.
The time has come.
No, not more revision . . . unless you think it needs it.
I’m talking sharing time! This can mean sharing with critique partners or your agent or a trusted friend. Just share it, and ask for honest feedback.
You can take it.
You’re a baker.
You’ve been burned before.
Based on what you’re told, you may need to tweak your recipe or bake longer or something. That’s okay. Make changes that resonate with you and fight for the ingredients that matter.
You did it. Congratulations!
Enjoy it for a bit.
Now, get to work on your next project. 😉
What will be your next creation? Pie? Cake? I’m sure it’ll be delicious, and I hope I can devour your work someday. ❤️
We are human and prone to make mistakes. Is it fun when our mistakes are out there for everyone to see?
Is it the end of the world?
But it can sometimes send mixed messages. In the sign below, the car wash (two words) management likely meant to convey their apologies for not allowing mud in the tunnel area. Without the needed comma after “sorry,” however, the message seems to say the car wash has poor management. Then again, maybe an employee created the sign and omitted the comma on purpose to subtly share an opinion.
It’s difficult to proofread our own work. Find someone you trust to help. But, if a mistake slips by, don’t beet* yourself up about it.
*I know it’s beat. It was my lame attempt to further emphasize the point.
Ah, what a year it’s been so far. The chaos and the crazy and the frustration have been most prominent, but there’s more to life than this. There is joy. It might be hard to see, but it’s there. Like this baby watermelon, if joy is looked for, it can be found. If it’s nurtured, it can grow. And the sweetness will be refreshing. Look for the joy in your life, in your day, in your hour, in your minute. It might be small and difficult to see, but if you look hard enough, you’ll find it. Be joyful.