No poem yesterday. In an attempt to slay my own perfectionistic tendencies, I’ve decided to relax my goal of doing a poem a day, if a particular day doesn’t work out. To be honest, my drive to be accountable makes me cringe and feel anxious at the idea of NOT achieving the goal I publicly committed to, and yet when I finally let myself off the hook, I was able to relax. So this is progress for me! I still want to try to write a poem a day this month, but if it doesn’t work out, I’m not going to beat myself up.
That said, today’s poem is actually one I wrote in the poetry challenge of 2018. It has recently been popping its head up and I’ve had a few people express interest in hearing it. So I will post it here– it’s a message that I myself need to be reminded of again and again. I hope it may be helpful to others too.
Not Too Late
Welcome to Day 24 of my 30-Day Poetry Challenge!
Comment on today’s poem to win a copy of my poetry book, “(After) Confession… I’m giving away a copy every day. Scroll down below the poem for more details about this Poetry Challenge.
But first, congratulations, Martha B, for winning a free copy of my poetry book! (I do a raffle from those who commented on yesterday’s post.) Martha, please email me your address so I can send your prize: email@example.com
Now onto today’s poem. Don’t forget to comment, and check back tomorrow to see if you’ve won!
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All the art here is from my sketchbooks over the years, some of my “better” work. Believe me, I have so many pages of clunkers and mis-trials, but I’m not brave enough to show those! I’ve learned so much and found the enjoyment in all of it. Any other little-a artists and experimenters out there?
Love at First Art Continue reading
[In which one writer finds other things to do with notebooks and pens besides furiously scribbling words.]
I have had a love-affair with art supply stores for years. Mostly it was drooling at all the colors and paints and pencils and artsy stuff like a kid in a candy store, but then circling back around to my “safe” area– pens and notebooks. I love buying pens and notebooks, as do so many of my writerly friends. How fun to pick up different pens for $2 or $3, and fill up the tabla rasa of white pages.
And then, inspired by a writer-friend who was diving deeply into making art as well, I started dipping my toe in, buying a few art supplies myself. Maybe a little watercolor box (cheap, like kids use), some colored pencils, some markers. I found a few Groupons for getting great discounts at art stores, and then I could really have some fun buying stuff. I didn’t know what I was buying and I felt like a fake in the aisles, an art imposter, but bought them anyway.
And then I put all of them in this set of drawers by my writing desk, and mostly never used them. Occasionally, I might hesitantly give something a try, like dabbling with some water colors, playing around, but not much. I had a yearning, but let all the discouraging voices in my head get the better of me. Some supplies I never even opened… Continue reading
This weekend I was driving down the river road and saw a young artist with his easel set up on the bike path. He was standing in front of his canvas, painting the beautiful Fall colors. I turned and craned my neck to see how he was doing as I drove by. There were colors and lines on the canvas, a half-finished work of art. “That’s brave,” I thought, standing there in public where anyone could watch his process, see the humble beginnings, judge what might not look like much in the middle.
I remembered watching Bob Ross on public television when I was a kid. My dad liked to watch him teach the audience how to paint landscapes, and Mr. Ross did have a mesmerizing quality about his voice (painting all his “happy little trees.”) I was fascinated by his process—he’d start painting the scene and it would look like a mess. It looked like a mess until he was more than half-way through– every time I watched, I was sure he had totally botched his painting this time. Wouldn’t you know, he always managed to turn his mess into a miracle, and end the show with a lovely nature scene.
All this has got me thinking about Perfectionism lately. Continue reading