Wednesday, October 05, 2005


I've been challenged. Normally, I like challenges. But this challenge has me ready to wash my face with a block of industrial grade sandpaper.

I finished my children's picture book biography. I submitted it to two acclaimed published author colleagues. Last week, I received feedback from Cynthia. She went way over and beyond the call of a casual favor, I'm so thankful. Yesterday I received my critique from Dianna. She has put me to work. I'm not finished yet. Her response, " is one of many drafts before you find the diamond..."

Now, I can't afford diamonds. Not real ones anyway. In fact, as long as nobody knows, I'm satisfied with fake ones. I know I need to tear this manuscript apart and retell it with more...umpph! Color, personality, that's what it needs! But I've been staring at it for the past 24 hours, and I don't know if I have it in me revise it again — only to revise it again and again.

Am I up for the challenge? Well...yes, I am. How come I don't sound excited? I think that I have been spoiled with what I'll refer to as TFD syndrome whose acronym stands for "That's Fantastic, Don. That's what is said about my illustration work whether it's good, bad or mediocre. This isn't a good condition to have because it slows artistic growth. How can I get better if I'm not challenged to take my creative endeavors a step higher? Dianna has challenged me with raising the bar. But, even though I am up for the challenge, I'm still pouting that TFD syndrome has yet to penetrate my writing. I do, however, realize that's actually a good thing.

I hope my writing friends will be up for just one more look, followed by probably one more look. *clenching jaws*


The Archivist said...

I see...

Well, I wish you luck with it.

rindambyers said...

Don, you know, it is the idea that is fantastic in rough draft, even if other people can't always see it! You can always feel great about your ideas; they just need that careful polishing so that everyone else can finally see how truly FANTASTIC your ideas are. I'm coming down off the high mountain right, now, as my challenge quilt was a huge hit with my guild, but you know what? It was those one or two or three friends that I kept talking to about it through all those long days and months and hours of making that quilt idea real that kept me going to make it the beautiful, exciting reality it now is. They BELIEVED in ME, not the quilt so much! They said "you can do it! It's a wonderful idea! I can't wait to see it!" It doesn't matter how good a quiter they are, it's that they BELIEVED in me and my talent. So, that's what I'm saying to you, Don. I haven't seen this particular manuscript. I don't need to. I've seen your other work, illustrationg and writing, and YOU have fantastic ideas. YOU have huge talent, a lot of it. You need a bit of a rest and doing something else and a few pep talks from good buddies, and you'll get that manuscript polished up just beautifully....and it will be so much easier for you to do the next time around, too.

I'll post pics of my quilt as soon as I.....can refigure out... again... how to work the photo blog thinngie..sigh, me and software don't always jive...