My drawing table, a couple of days ago.
When I took a workshop from Elizabeth Lyon at the Surrey Writer’s Conference last month, I heard her say that there is a universal process that is common to all writers. First, the resistance to beginning a new project (this is where we suddenly find dozens of important tasks to take care of before we start, like reorganizing our files or sharpening our pencils). Then we finally begin the project, which often goes quite well and proceeds rapidly. About two thirds of the way through, we hit stumbling blocks and have difficulties, which is followed by an almost overwhelming desire to give up and quit. If the work isn’t abandoned at that point, the author plugs on through and finishes it.
When I heard her say this, I thought, Huh. That’s just what happens to me when I create a drawing or painting. I always, always, always get to a point where I’m sure I’ve ruined it and I’m certain I will have to toss it out and start over. I get into a real snit about it and I’m nearly unbearable to be around. Craig, bless him, always reminds me that I feel this way about every piece I do, which is something I seem to conveniently forget. So I spend a good ten minutes explaining to him why it’s different this time, I really did screw it up this time, and it’s not like the other times at all, at all.
Then of course I take another look at it, make some adjustments, edit and refine and finish it. And then I like it. Then I fall in love with it. And I want to dance around and show it off.
Huh. Good thing we have mentors and partners to remind us of our process when we forget.
P.S. I just finished the Explorer of Earth and I am totally in love with her! I promise, you’ll see all four Explorers soon.