Does your confidence in your creative work ebb and flow? How about your determination?
A few weeks ago I was finishing stories at a pace I have never managed before. I was writing it, editing it and then sending to off…zoom! But right now I have a story that is done and I know where I want to send it, but for some reason I keep putting off editing it. The story is good, not my best but still readable. I think it would work well for the magazine I want to send it to. I am just nervous all over again like I was before I sent off my first piece.
Part of this might be a work ethic issue. For a few weeks I was making myself put in full days working on this. I would write, edit, look up markets, read other peoples work and think about stories all day. Even when I was doing other stuff I was still thinking stories. Then I got busy with chicken tasks, gardening and spring cleaning. The farther I get from working full days at writing the harder it is to make myself work at all. The stories are still there, I am still having ideas. But now I am back to appreciating the idea and enjoying the story as it plays out in my head, but not writing it down right away. I lost a good one a few days ago. I remember thinking “That is great; I have never read anything like that before!” But I don’t remember the story.
How do you get past these sorts of issues if you have them?
3 thoughts on “Confidence”
I think you hit the key words in regards to confidence, it ebbs and it flows. Some days I am on fire, and other days I feel like I am the worst artist in the world. When I first began painting, every piece had to be a Masterpiece, and if it did not live up to my expectations, I sucked.
The hardest lesson as an artist was learning to get out of the way of the piece, and letting it be what it wanted to be. Forcing it only brought about struggle and frustration. This is not easy to do, sort of like letting go of the edge of the swimming pool when you are learning to tread water on your own. Moving forward a step at a time. Each tiny success, each little miracle of creation you manifest, builds upon confidence and the next time you let go a bit more. With confidence comes trust in one’s ability.
But it still ebbs and flows just like the rains. Sometimes it pours and sometimes a drought. There will always be more rain. Ultimately, I reach a place where I had fallen so many times, with fears that I had lost my gift (5 months last year) and so many times it came back, that I have learned to trust that my creativity know what it is doing and will always be there, sometimes it just needs to sleep and dream on its own. Each time it comes back, the flow is greater and I have more control, not of it, but of myself steering the rudder through the currents.
If you lose a story, do not worry, the initial though brought it into existence within your imagination and as long as you exist it will always be there, it is just fluttering around your subconscious for the time being.
With each story, you are learning to breathe with your imagination a little deeper. You are a talented writer and what I like about you work is that only you can write it. You have a great voice through your words, and just like with exercising your body, you need ot keep it in shape. Even if you have a terrible workout once in a while, keep pushing forward and sooner or later you will hit that 10,000th hour, and like Trinity getting a download to fly a chopper, you will suddenly realize you are there. Not long now, keep them words flowing . . .
Old Hat (otherwise known as Male White Privelege) 🙂
Thank you. Everything you said it really inspiring. It is interesting to me to know that sometimes you have times when you are just not “on” too. Because when I see each of your finished pieces they are so great, so put together. It is actually sort of hard to see you sitting in front of the canvas making a annoyed faces at it, the way I do with the blank paper (or screen). I guess I have to keep in mind that even those people, like yourself, who I think of as great at what they do started someplace.
Which of my pieces are finished? 🙂
Sometimes when I get stuck on a piece and frustrated, I pull a Can of Whoop’Ass out on it, and start banging on it with my brushes as if it were a drum . . .
You should read . . . ‘Art & Fear’ . . . . it’s all about what you are referring to . . . and how to overcome it. Great book.