Friday, July 21, 2006

It's All in the Wording

As I've mentioned, I'm a baker. And being one, I have the all-powerful Kitchen Aid mixer, which after 7 years is still holding up and producing cookie and bread dough.

My friend M really really wanted one, but her husband thinks that her hand-held mixer is perfectly fine. She sweetly asked, then she whined, then she nagged, then they just argued.

Finally, she said, "If you want me to bake these things, I need the proper tool."

He said, "Oh. It's a tool. Well, that's different."

They went out and bought one that weekend.

*Wipes a tear away* I'm so proud of her!

__________________________

I spent all afternoon and evening yesterday editing a friend’s article she’s having published in a professional publication. It’s a paper that she wrote for a school she attended, and she had cut it down from 7,000 words to 3,000 and wasn’t there yet and wasn’t happy with how it was turning out.

I warned her ahead of time that I wasn’t going to coddle her even though I know how hard she worked on it and she’s my friend. I keep telling people, “Don’t ask my opinion if you don’t want to know.” I haven’t heard from her yet, except to say that she got it (through email). I tried to be positive about what I thought was really good, so hopefully she’ll forgive me that I cut about 30% and told her she should rewrite a section because she had lost her focus. Well, she did! Actually, I think she was in better shape than she thought, and I told her that, too.

So, once again, I have helped someone else who is getting published. Always the bridesmaid, yadda yadda yadda. I enjoyed editing her article for her, but it reminded me of what I read in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I’ve spent too much time being a “shadow artist:”

Shadow artists often choose shadow careers—those close to the desired art, even parallel to it, but not the art itself.”

Always an editor, never a writer. Always supporting other people in their writing and to live a creative life, but not taking my own advice.

It’s not that I don’t have a creative life at all. I have way too many hobbies and writing on this blog is a good outlet. But I always want more. However, “more” is also going to take more self-discipline, more courage, and more hard work.

I better get busy!

7 comments:

Jay said...

You know what's really awesome about bakers? The way they bake up a big ole batch of say pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, or just regular every day chocoalte chip cookies and then package them up and send them to family. That's what's cool about bakers. :-)

I think your blog is getting better and better and you are getting better and better at letting your creative side go on here. You've always been good at that when it comes to your cooking, knitting and scrapbooking stuff. And the other 10,783 hobbies you have.

Newt said...

I don't think that pumpkin chocolate chip cookies should only be shared with family. They should be shared with everyone you are close to. Or at least those on your blog list :-) We are after all "family" connected by the great cosmic intenet highway right? right?

Kell said...

How about the recipe, at least? They are really easy to make, and really, you don't have to have a Kitchen Aid to make them! I'll put it up sometime this weekend.

F&W said...

Bwa ha ha! Gotta love Jay and Newt's persistence.

(although a recipe would not go unnoticed or un-thanked) :o)

As far as your creativity and choosing to be the artist and not the "shadow artist" (thanks Julia Cameron!) goes, I can not only understand... I relate.

I'm scared as heck but I'm quitting my job on Monday as a start, a step, a move in the right direction. More on that later!

Go, Kell, go! :o) (Funny, I just wrote the same thing on Betty's blog)

Kell said...

Holy Cow Chelle! You are my new hero! You go, girl!

saz said...

Kell - Have you read Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird" about the writing life?

Kell said...

Saz--no, I haven't. I'll have to take a look at that. I've read Stephen King's, Elizabeth George's (that was great), and several Lawrence Block's. All pretty interesting. I'll look fo hers next.