Tuesday, July 21, 2009
How to Draw a Picture (Part 6)
(Excerpt from Duma Key by Stephen King)
Keep your focus. It's the difference between a good picture and one more image cluttering up a world filled with them...
Some questions I have never answered to my satisfaction, but I have drawn my own pictures and I know that when it comes to art, it's perfectly okay to paraphrase Nietzsche: if you keep your focus, eventually your focus will keep you.
Sometimes without parole.
It is a bit of a misconception that the ADD afflicted cannot focus. As a matter of fact, I have found myself so focused on a particular project that everything else simply goes undone. My struggle is not to stay focused, but to un-focus long enough at the task at hand to attend to all the other things that demand my attention.
I used to be an avid scrapbooker. The maternal instinct kicked in and I felt compelled to document every major and minor moment of my first born's life. This just so happened to coincide with an invitation to a Scrapbooking home party invite given to me by a friend from church. I had never heard of such a thing, but once I saw it, I was hooked.
I had to stop scrapbooking. It consumed me. While everyone else was putting together entire scrapbooks in record time, I became so obsessed with creating the perfect page for a particular picture or set of pictures that I would literally stay up all night until I got it just right. While my friends simply found a few stickers and/or coordinating papers and called it a day, that just wasn't enough for me. Mine had to be a perfect representation of my emotional connection to the moment in which the picture was taken.
I am mostly ADD with some shining OCD moments. Allow me to give you a couple of examples:
Those are just three examples. On almost every page, I painstakingly recreated one or more elements in the picture. At the rate I was going, I would have my son's baby pictures finished by the time he graduated high school. I just got overwhelmed by it. I still take pictures of my kids. My daughter wants to do her own scrapbooks. At almost 8 years old, she has given me every indication that her creative prowess puts her mother to shame. So, I'm all for that.
Fast forward to May 2008. I didn't even know what a blog was until I read my friend and pastor Jeff's blog. What a difference a year and a couple of months can make. What started as an outlet for my outright silliness and occasional prosperity gospel rants has turned into something so much more. It is a community. Some blogs are strictly informational. Mine could hardly be called that on my best day. My husband told me his favorite part of my blog is reading the comments. I tend to agree. I know I have many readers who rarely or never leave comments. I have some readers who only stop by on Mondays, and that's okay, too.
So what's my focus right now? Writing. My own and the writing of people who actually know what they're doing. Because it's not enough to be good or even great. You need exposure. And while this blog is not exactly breaking records for traffic, it's nothing to sneeze at.
That's why I have two guest posts a week.
Monday will be reserved for Billy Coffey until such time as he simply gets too busy to post here. Thank you, Billy. What a privilege it is to feature your work here every week, and what a pleasure it is to know you, my friend. I won't even say something silly like, "Don't forget me when you're a famous author", because I know you better than that. You're a real class act and I'm thrilled that the rest of the world is about to be blessed by your words just as your regular readers have been over this past year.
Each Wednesday I will feature another new guest blogger. I have been really overwhelmed at the response to this. I thought I would be scrambling to find someone willing to write for this blog, but people have been so gracious, and the result has been some excellent posts and hopefully some new readers for my guest bloggers.
I know I joke around about shamelessly self promoting myself on twitter, but I'd much rather promote someone more worthy of attention than myself. It's the least I can do. Because it's not about me anyway...
Be sure to be sure to catch Part One of Billy's interview with Lynn Rush about the call that every writer dreams about.