Layer the paint. Snap the images. Taste taste taste. Work your asses off.

5 Sep

It only seems I was relaxing one earlier summer – but the work is always there . . . I am most always working- see the unfinished manuscript? That was done and then another began . . . on it goes

I am an impatient person. Now that I have that out of the way, I will also tell you that despite that fact, I understand that I must often corral this impatience, especially when it comes to Goals and Dreams and Desires.

All y’allses, I would lay bet that most all of the time when you hear of “Over-night Successes” those successes were fashioned from much hard work. Take the musical group The Black Keys for example. They slogged along ten years before bursting out of the gate. It would seem they obtained their “fame” in a blazing flash of light, when instead, if you’ll excuse the cliche, they’d been burning that candle at both ends.

A photographer may take hundreds and hundreds of shots just to find that one perfect “money” shot. The photographer, unless very lucky at that moment, doesn’t sit and wait for the perfect shot and then *click* – there you go, la tee dah. No, the photographer hunts and looks and snaps and snaps and snaps that shutter countless times, over and over and over, and then within all those moments the photograph finds The One Great Moment that snatches up his/her breath and the world stops spinning until the breath is released. There. There. That’s it.

A painting may have layers upon layers of paint, as the artist searches for the image he/she has dreamed, desired, lost sleep/weight/friends and family over. The one that finally has the artist putting down the brush. And even then, the artist may eye the

I took shot after shot after shot of the Blue Moon and still couldn’t get what was in “my inner eye*

painting with imagination and doubt. But rarely will the artist slap some paint on the canvas and call it a day.

I used to think if I were a good cook, it would mean that my instincts would be so keen that I should be able to throw things in the pot and magically they would taste good. It wasn’t until years later I learned how the greatest of chefs actually TASTE their food – taste the ingredients, taste along the way, taste at completion. KABOING! Why, who knew? One must taste the elements, taste along the way, and then taste the finished product to make sure it turns out how it should be: Tasty.

Read the above and insert words to make it about writing. Yup, in my early writing life, I used to think that if I were a Great Writer, or even a Good One, whatever I slapped onto the page must be genius right then and there. That re-writes meant I was not a Good Writer. Rewrites and revisions meant I lacked. Oh dear lawd in the highest of clouds! How wrong wrong wrong that was, and is, and forevermore shall be! Rewrites and revisions are the heart of writing. I can’t tell you how many times I go through my novels, time after time, layering that paint, snapping image after image, tasting tasting tasting TASTING, until I have it as Right as I can right it.

Giving up? No. Not an option. However, there is the: maybe I need to try a different path; one that doesn’t take me to a *see sign*

Take all that above and insert words to make this about many goals: weight loss and/or becoming fit, that big promotion at work, the Dream you’ve been Dreaming. Sure, there are always exceptions to some of these, and some people find Luck propels them just where they wanted to be with the snap of a finger (though I’d wonder still how many years they’d spent working towards their goal before Luck slapped them upside their heads). But, y’allses, nothing comes without the hard work – or maybe I should say:

Nothing STAYS without the hard work

Enter the magical gate, walk the magical path – then work your ass off.

Layer the paint. Snap the images. Taste taste taste. Achieve.


23 Responses to “Layer the paint. Snap the images. Taste taste taste. Work your asses off.”

  1. Jink Willis September 5, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    WYAO!! great mantra!!

    • katmagendie September 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

      Let’s holler the cry of WYAO! :-D

  2. Angie September 5, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    KER-SLAM! Just entered the magical gate and flung it shut. Yes ma’am . . . do, create, dream, kick arse!

    • katmagendie September 5, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

      and notice how the magical gate is smaller than the dead end – on purpose :-D

  3. vaughnroycroft September 5, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    Oh how I needed to hear this today. Especially the layers of paint. Sometimes I fear if I keep layering on the paint, it’ll get so thick it’ll just crumble off the canvas. Loved hearing The Black Keys story, I didn’t know it, but love their music. It sounds fresh to my ears. Maybe my thickly laid paint will still seem fresh to readers someday. Thanks, Kat!

    • katmagendie September 5, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

      it will — because you have heart, Vaughn – and that’s a big ole chunk of this writing biz – Heart.

  4. ddfalvo September 5, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    Laughed over the revelation that a good cook must actually taste the food. :P The painted layers. sigh. Maybe if I just lick the canvas I’ll figure out which color rocks the soup faster. Barring that, I’ll take heart in the fact that marinating usually improves the flavor. Thanks, Kat!

    • katmagendie September 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

      You may just hit upon a new art sensation! Licking the canvas! You may die of some kind of weird tongue infection or maybe lead poisoning or something, but hell, we sacrifice for our art! :-D

  5. Jennifer E. McFadden September 5, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    I relate to the photographer snapping picture after picture ( I do that too) that’s exactly how my writing/rewriting is. It reminds me of the saying, ‘if you’re going to do something, do it well, or don’t do it at all.’ Thanks, Kat. :)

    • katmagendie September 5, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

      Yes! I always feel a little sad when I read something that could have used more care and less impatience to publish – like, it was “just there, . . . if only . . . .”

  6. karenselliott September 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    Looking at my calendar and life and grandsons and more life and jobs, and losing jobs and editing and proofreading … I figure I’m going to be an over-night success in about two or three years. Stay tuned, folks! You’ll be able to say, “I knew her when … !” Nothing worthwhile comes overnight.

    • katmagendie September 5, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

      laughing – I’m still not an overnight success – dang!

  7. Barbara Forte Abate September 5, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    While I can honestly say I relate to every last paragraph here, it’s that Blue Moon that seems most to be singing my song. In particular, that tune where the lens declines to capture what the eye is seeing, despite multiple and diligent attempts to seize what we know would be perfect if only …

  8. Joan Leacott September 5, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    I cook and paint and write and play music. And you are so right about “do it until it’s done”. The biggest problem is knowing when “done” has arrived. Sigh.

    • katmagendie September 6, 2012 at 8:05 am #

      I just finally say “enough” when it’s enough and when it’s enough is up to our best estimate instincts I guess! lawd

    • katmagendie September 6, 2012 at 8:06 am #

      I just finally say “enough” when it’s enough and when it’s enough is up to our best estimate instincts I guess! lawd — or, when the deadline is here *laugh*

  9. Linda Hoye September 6, 2012 at 12:10 am #

    Love this one, Kat. Very inspiring!

    • katmagendie September 6, 2012 at 8:06 am #

      Thank you, Linda!

  10. CG Blake September 6, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    Yes, yes, yes. It takes lots of hard work and several “starter” novels. It’s the stuff the reader doesn’t see that matters. Great post, Kat.

    • katmagendie September 7, 2012 at 7:45 am #

      I did a lot of “starter short stories/essays” – TG was my “starter novel” but it is so very far from the original book. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened had I published the original – oh dear.

  11. The Forgotten September 7, 2012 at 7:07 am #

    As the old saying goes…”Practice makes perfect!” Lots and lots of hard work…

  12. Analisa September 9, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    You are so right. Nothing stay without the work. :)

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