Another Writing Tip from Artist Susan Blackwood
Two weeks ago I attended a watercolor workshop taught by nationally known Susan Blackwood. I was astounded by how much the content related perfectly to writing (I wrote another post on it, here). By the end of the four days, my poor Evernote app barely functioned–I wore the sucker out. (Don’t worry, it’s happy again.)
I found myself ruminating over something she said:
And guess what I thought. Surprise: this is so my writing life.
How many times have I stared at my blank computer screen and contemplated putting my face through it? And I won’t even start on the horrible moment when I begin a new novel and look at my looooooooong list of scenes. It’s something between a dizzying sensation and a general overheating of my internal organs.
Then the fear-train comes in to barrage my drugged-up brain (hello, migraines) with thoughts of oh s*** oh s*** why did I chose this profession? and what if this one doesn’t go anywhere like the last one even though it was so so close so many times and holy crap what if this one isn’t even GOOD?
You get the idea.
What’s Susan solution to this fear?
Put a wash on the paper.
A wash is one of the first things you learn in watercolor painting. (Dip brush into water. Dip wet brush into paint. Put thin layer of paint onto paper. Ta-Da!) You build on washes to get the finished painting.
Wait? You mean, kind of like a sentence?
*clap clap clap* Exactly.
Put the wash down. Type out the sentence. Even if it’s ugly.
And the work’s already started.
No more white paper. On your painting table or on the computer screen. And then we move onto the next step 🙂
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Nice analogy Abby, very apt. I’m all-too-familiar with that horrible blank feeling. Good advice for getting past it, thanks.
You’re welcome! Have you been working on a new project lately?
[…] I spent a week talking about fear, the fear of the blank page and a quote about the fear of being wrong. So when the letter “F” came up, fear was fresh on my […]