Friday, June 6, 2008


I've been reading this blog for the past two days. I'll admit, I'm kinda obessed. It's written by a 40 yr old Boulderite who has decided to travel the world for the next 6mos-year.

If anything, it makes me think that anything is possible, and that being lost is okay. That I don't have to figure it all out or have all the answers. It inspires me to travel, and to go where the wind takes me. It also shows me that perfection is overrated. I really liked one of her May 13th entry where she's describing how she enjoys making art but sometimes has a negative voice in her head.

"The other day, in Café A Brasiliera, I shared my table with two consecutive groups. The first, a pair of Englishwomen here for an Erasmus conference. Then, a group of women from Belgium. (I wonder if they know Martine!) I was at the café to fortify myself with coffee and pastel de natal, the Portuguese custard pastry. I also planned to work in my sketchbook.

I’d been inspired by Danny Gregory and the notion of an illustrated journal. I’ve read Gwen Diehn’s books and love the multi-textured illustrated journal. And I’ve got my Moleskine notebook and I’m ready to go.

And I’m scared.

Familiar? How many of you have the inspiration, the notebook, the materials and the surrounding inspiration to create, only to be beleaguered by those voices?

I know. All of you. That’s why I have a job – to nudge people past those voices. And I love doing it. And I write about it. And I should know better, right?


So at that cool Art Nouveau café, I open my notebook, get out my fancy beautiful pen and miniature colored pencils and I just start. Whatever impulse I get, I put on the page. When I run out of steam, I stop and look around. I put things on the page and the women from Belgium watch. I like that but don’t pay much attention. I just keep playing in my notebook. The voices are still there, but I just keep going.

You may be reading this and thinking about your own art that you are working on (or avoiding) right now. If that’s you, finish reading and then go to your writing, your drawing, your painting, your whatever, and just do one thing. One sentence, one stroke, one dab of color. Remember yourself as a kid and let yourself play. Don’t worry about ‘good enough’. Just play. That’s what I’ll be doing – playing with materials as I wend my way through Europe.

Here I go, one dab of color at a time."

I know, that was a longish entry to read, but what really struck me was the ending--"don't worry about 'good enough.' Just play." and "one sentence." L wrote a novel and is writing another one, and so at one point I thought, yes, I want to write one too. Only, I've started but every single time I start to think about it--writing a book--I choke. I second guess myself, I second guess my plot. Heck, I don't even have fully formed characters yet. I know who they are in the beginning, and how many, but i don't know much beyond that. And so instead of writing one sentence at a time, I let the negative voice get to me, and I stop. I don't try. I keep dreaming of the perfect intro, the perfect plot, the perfect set of characters. But reading her entry gives me hope. Hope that I CAN do this. I just have to do it a sentence at a time. And that, is much, much, more doable, and completely less scary.

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