So where did I expect to be by the end of February? My expectations were to have some of the page illustrations complete and be working on painting. Almost there, which is a relief.
Another deadline that has come and barely completed at the end of January to have finish the Right Brain drawing book. Struggling along with portrait drawings, with only some mild improvement.
Practicing painting with acrylics and watercolor; my daughter is directing and playing around some on my own. It has been hard to find classes that fit into my schedule. Isn’t that a common problem? We have an interest and a desire to learn something new, but then can’t find the class or teacher that meshes with your time, and interest? If one works out for me, I am taking it!
My expectations have had to be tempered. Most of the time I try to do too much. Squeeze something into every minute of the day. Rush, push and just generally do too much. It is an old habit that is very hard to break.
This is requiring me to alter my expectations and standards. Relearn what is truly reasonable. Balance, not only in art, but in life.
So, the first month of this new year, I have been busting my comfort zone on more than one level. From cessation of excess planning time to drawing and even completing writing projects for submission to competition, I am stepping outside my comfort zone.
Talk about going the full mile! The submission was on time, in proper format and prepared, but with some errors because I was in a deadly rewrite cycle that wasn’t accomplishing anything.
This year if I just make six submissions to contests, or publications it will be a successful year. I hate doing that. My preference would be to just want to write, self publish and flood the web.
However, maybe there are things to learn from this year of submissions that will help me be a better writer. It might help me grow more quickly in the areas that seem to be stagnating. It’s work a try and the loss will be a few dollars entry fees.
So I am working on this drawing course, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (http://drawright.com). I bought the book, dvd, and the supplies because for me it was just easier.
I have to tell you, I have been shocked at what I have accomplished thus far. I am no where near all the way through the book or dvd. I had to stop to take care of administrative duties and to complete a project on deadline. However, I have resumed and will be completed in the next few days if I am not already by the time this post goes live.
Here I share with you a couple of the photos of what I have done. (See picture file to upload.) This is outside my comfort zone. I am growing!
First of all, I am probably the last person who should be explaining or giving a “how to” anything. I am still figuring most things out myself. But, I can tell you how it is for me and a general idea of the process.
You don’t have to write a book or a story complete all at one sitting or over the course of a few months from start to finish. You don’t even have to have an outline for one. Though, there are many who do, and as many writers who just write as it comes and figure how where it goes as they write. There are as many ways to write a story as there are personalities.
Where to start? You start where you are. Start with the idea in your head. Write it down, whether it is a scene, some dialogue, a character, place. That is your start. As more comes write that too. Write questions and thoughts about that idea.
Don’t worry about spelling or grammar, just write it down. That is what a rough draft is. Some start with that idea making notes and outlining what they want to tell about. That is the start.
It doesn’t end there. Then you have to edit. Some edit during the writing,others edit after they think they are done. After the first edit, and for some many many more edits and rewrites from the initial effort to the finish.
Basically you just write. Part of writing is figuring out your process in the beginning. Here is where it gets sticky. If you research enough, you can find something that contradicts everything. I got caught up in that while I was searching for my temporarily lost writing voice.
So I went back to what I knew worked most all of the time. Ta-da! The writing block broke. I found my voice again. It isn’t what others do, it is what I do.
We know ourselves but sometimes we let others lead us astray of what works best for us because it doesn’t work for others. Find your way, and stick to it. I am.