Thursday, December 30, 2010

Work at it until it's worthwhile

     When baking, I often find that Marianne's shelves, though well stocked, lack one or even several prescribed ingredients to complete the recipe.  Sometimes I'll just pick another entree, but if I really want my original choice, I'll go to the store and find what I need to complete the job.  Same with a construction project, crafts, and nearly any other thing we endeavor to do in our lives.  Writing is no different.  Often we convince ourselves that mere talent is what will make us successful, and we either have it or we don't.  Well I'm here to say that is a ridiculous notion, and simply isn't true.  That some of us are blessed with unique gifts that often make various pursuits a little easier, or natural to us, is true, but beyond the gift, or knack we may have, the rest is all work, requiring much committed effort.  The fact is that most to whom things come without much effort, become lazy in the ease of their way, and fail to ever reach their potential.  Others, however, who struggle through obstacle after obstacle in chasing their dream, or simply achieving a personal goal, rise to heights they never thought possible, and are the few who taste the sweetness of their well deserved prize.
     The secret is not to allow impatience to dictate what we will accept as adequate, we always should expect and hold ourselves to our best.  I once had an art professor tell the class that we shouldn't allow ourselves to fall into the "Masterpiece Syndrome", meaning we shouldn't expect every thing we drew or painted to be great.  Although I understand the basis for his statement, I believe that for an artist to subscribe to such a philosophy is the surest way to secure a life of mediocrity that there is.  Sure, putting so much pressure on our every endeavor, that we end up in a fetal ball sucking our thumb, isn't something I would advise, however, to accept less than the best we are capable of, simply because time is up, or we didn't have garlic, goes counter to who we aspire to be, and our primary goal, which is to create something that will make an impact.  Often, we simply to take more time.  Go ahead and toil over every sentence, if it's not worth the effort, don't waste your readers time.  Leave it out.
     This is what I meant when I said to search, study and record.  Find the ingredient you lack, study it, live it so that it becomes central to you, then you can write about it with passion and believability where previously you couldn't.

1 comment:

  1. Hey old buddy!!!!!!!! I tried really hard to read this but I tell you that it is sooooooo hard with your background being so darn dark. SO I ASK YOU... Don't you want peeps to read this?? LOL........ It's hard for us to do that at our age and yes I say our age!!

    You are looking real good Quinn. Missed you at the class Reunion this pass summer.
    your friend always, Janiel B Corley