Wednesday, November 23, 2011

One Man's "Meh..."

My daughter recently completed an art project for her class at junior college.

It's a black wire sculpture, full of twists and loops and spirals; looks something like a demented bird cage from a steampunk novel.

I genuinely loved it, and told her so. (For the record, I'm also honest with her when something she creates doesn't "reach" me)

Next day, she "tested the work out" with her teacher before officially turning it in.  Teacher let her know in no uncertain terms that she found it inferior.

So Daughter is discouraged & back to the drawing board, and I have a new decoration for my office.

I'm sorry for her, but that's the nature of art...any art.  And it's a good reminder for me, as I inch closer to publishing my first novel.

I can take any story I've ever loved, and go to Amazon and find 1-star reviews from people who hated it.  Vice versa, as well.

Any novel, any painting, any song is just a Projection test... a person's reaction tells you far more about the person than it does about the creation.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Been doing some reading lately on the subject of Will Power and Determination. 

Some interesting research being done on these topics, and it certainly relates to the endeavor of writing (Or the attainment of any goal).

One of the more recent findings has to do with the power of publicity...and accountability. Researchers have proven in a number of studies that "going public" with a goal is an important motivator. The drive to avoid embarrassment, maybe?  Or social support? Or a combination.

Another finding: Religious people tend to take a "higher" view of purpose, and this helps them through the tough times. If you focus only on the here and now, it's easy to get discouraged. If you keep your vision fixed on the eventual goal (the "why" instead of the "how") it tends to guard against discouragement. 

A third concept: "Pre-commitment."  An effective strategy for maintaining motivation and drive is realize ahead of time what your chief temptations will be.  What is most likely to side-track you from your goal?  By recognizing these sticking points in advance, you are more likely to avoid their destructive effects.

Put a plan in place to shield yourself from the distraction.  And if you can't avoid the distraction altogether, decide ahead of time how you will respond to it when it shows up.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Being True to Yourself

I'm thinking more lately about the importance of being authentic.

Of being who you are, despite a plethora of voices telling you who to be, how to be.

And I suppose that for me, the journey towards publication has been a catalyst for these thoughts. The "business of publishing," to judge from the blogs of writers and editors and publishers, is filled with advice, maxims, commands.

Conventional wisdom.

While I believe in "absolute truth" in a theological sense, there are many, many "truths" of life (and business, and publishing) that are nothing more than thinly-disguised opinions. As I get older, I find myself becoming more weary of these, and the voices that propagate them.

In our culture, we worship the god of Confidence.  And too much reliance on the Confident will lead you into a labyrinth in which you lose the essence of You.

I want to be true to the pattern God constructed for me.  Wherever that path leads.

If you're interested, I'll be sharing some observations on "what's true for me" over the coming months.

Agree or disagree, at least you'll know.