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Sunday, November 29, 2009

The plight of an artist and a writer

Why am I up so early in the morning you may be thinking? I doubt you care why? An idea struck me that I had to record, and now I can't remember what. Then as I was writing by the dim lights overhead I heard a loud, "Wah! Wah!" from the bedroom next to the living room.

Now my 11-month-old is happy and giddy on the couch next to me playing with the credit cards she stripped from my wallet. She took a few gulps from her bottle I warmed up, but at the present time that lies askew... oops, now it's time for another gulp... now it's cast aside nonchalantly... now she wants this dad...

Well, I started out writing gook. Sometimes I (we bloggers) write gook, but this blog post turned out to be pretty good. Yet sometimes when we writers look back on what we write we realize it deserves to be filed in cabinet #13, which in the blogosphere is equivalent to the delete button.

Sure most of what we write is normal blah, blah, blah. Yet, occasionally, one can't help but to write something worthy of immortality, yet one cannot judge his own creativity. I suppose that's
why Aunt Dike, who preferred to be called Leota when she turned 90, for some reason would toss her work in the trash and why grandma would pick it out of the trash for posterity purposes.

I suppose I should crop this post out and tape it to the backside of Aunt Leota's painting grandma gave me that grandma said she plucked from her sister's file cabinet #13 and I now have on my wall in my basement. My grandma said it was an awesome drawing and she appreciated it. Yet she said her sister decided long ago it was trash.

Obviously I appreciate it too. I wonder if Aunt Dike would be proud or if she would say "It's just gook like this post you're writing."

Actually, however she thought of her own art, she would never tell me mine was gook. And the only reason she'd file anything in file #13 is because there's an old saying regarding any one with artistic or creative talent: If you did it once you can do it again and better.

That's what I have to remind myself every time my blogger fails to save and I lose everything I've written over an hour, or my word processor fails, or if the power goes out. If you did it once, you can do it again and better. That's the best wisdom we can come up with for the day, gook or not.

I suppose the moral of this post is you yourself are your biggest critic. In fact, I've heard that about artists too, that they keep editing and editing and editing because they want to make it better, and then when they look at it again they feel the need to trim some more.

I think that's normal for we artists, whether we work with words or paint and pen or even chalk as my Aunt Leota did. The truth is, most of what we write is probably better than what we see in our heads as we read it. And, I suppose, that's why it's best to write and let it sit a month so we can view it as though it were someone else's creation.

And, sometimes as I'm reading my own creations, that's exactly how it feels: as thought I'm reading your writing and not my own. How does this stuff pour out anyway?

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