The other day I blogged about the light-bulbs-growing-on-grass-thing. Inspiration, getting the growth going and all. Then I had the day from Hades — personal flubs, everything from losing my debit card to a momentary lapse of memory to indigestion. I wondered how I would ever live up to the growing thing. The writing thing. The inspiration thing.
Then I found my little notebook that had the plot line of my second novel scribbled in multi colors. It’s like someone really did turn the light bulbs on the grass on. A plot! A direction! Ideas! I remember looking fondly, wistfully, at the little 3 x 5 thing, not really interested in my character’s continued adventures in Tinaria. But now — here it was. Waving. Calling. Teasing.
What made this adventure even sweeter, though, was that I overcame my “do not share” mentality and actually asked for advice for my story. I was stuck on a premise I started in my first novel, and had no idea how to manifest an explanation in the second. So I talked to my good friend Cal The Science Guy about colors and blood and time travel. I actually told him about my story idea and asked for a feasible way around my blockage. I was able to get an educated — and fun — opinion about my work and my ideas.
The point of this evening’s conversation is that I learned to share my work. Not hide it. I always wanted to make sure my writing was perfect before I shared it with anyone. Like, if I didn’t tell them about it ahead of time they would like it better. All the grammar hadt o be perfect; the conversations, the encounters, all had to be smoothly orchestrated. If I was stuck, so what. I just changed ideas. All because I wanted to “surprise” my reader.
You would think at my age I would know better. The best kept secrets are nothing but secrets. Who cares about the stories you’re not telling anyone? Publication is a a fleeting thought; a dream, possible in some spheres of reality, impossible in others. Winning first place in an art show or graphic competition just as nebulous. What matters is NOT keeping these things a secret. No matter if you are a painter, a jewelry maker, or a writer. If you are stuck, ask someone. It’s not like they’re going to take your idea, or laugh at your idea, or tell everyone your idea.
We all get stuck in life. Some landmines can’t be helped. It’s life. But not sharing your stories, your poems, your creativity because you are afraid someone might not like it? Pfffttt….what does that matter? Did you like making that necklace? Did you enjoy stenciling that room? That’s what it’s all about. Need a little boost, a little clarification? Don’t be afraid to share your creation with someone. Everyone needs help now and then. I mean, even Van Gogh painted side by side with Gauguin.
OK, Cal…about this alien/time travel/gladiator thing….