Getting There

When I work from piece to piece, I think about what it is I want to say, and then I write it, or when working with my camera, I set the shots up and take hundreds of them. I give careful and deliberate thought to my work, and other times, I allow pure creativity to flow out with reckless abandon.

Another artist’s process might be a little different than my own, but the end product gives the appearance it was ready-made, that it was effortless to achieve the successful end.

Often what is not spoken, is the road to achieving the completed piece.

For example, I have been working on one short story for eight years. There are a few things to say about the amount of time it took.

First, I haven’t been satisfied with the end product, which has propelled me to continuously work on it.

Second, I haven’t consistently, day after day, worked on it. There have been times when out of the year, I worked very little in terms of writing.

Third, most of the work I did was inside my head, thinking about the angle, the way I had it written, the arch of the story, and the ending. It is during this processing time, it may feel like I lost my center, my focus.

I remind myself of those who have succeeded before me, and listen to what they say. Obstacles, setbacks, and failures are part of a successful road, and keeping those insights, and wisdom nearby is very helpful in maintaining focus, as well as the people I surround myself with—I need those positive vibes and insights higher than my thinking to reach a higher goal.

My goals are my dreams. I generally don’t tell people my dreams—not all of them. Why? I have experienced people rain on them, and it’s usually those closest to me that do (sometimes it just can’t be helped). I have found I’m better off keeping it to myself, and allowing the dream to germinate. At some point, I release the dream to the world.

Gillian Zoe Segal’s book, Getting There, is a book of mentors talking about their journeys to their successes. Some of the people in her book are Sara Blakely, Kathy Ireland, Matthew Weiner, and Warren Buffet.

Hearing, and reading what others say can be extremely helpful. Segal’s book can act as an aide-mémoire.

There is something I remind myself:

It’s my passion that motivates me, and keeps me going, and no matter how much I don’t fit in, there is a world where I do because I’m creating it.