18 June 2012

Inside Critic

This week as I was looking around my house wondering why I'm not a better decorator, my eyes landed on the bird my husband had drawn in high school using colored pencils.  Let me just mention that my husband is a brilliant, brilliant artist.  This bird, a robin, has one delicate foot resting on a cut orange.  The colors are vibrant, the shading delectable, and the proportions correct.  I LOVE this bird.  Which is why I framed it and hung it on the wall in the living room.  (Where it doesn't match, because I don't have anything black and orangey/red.  But there it hangs anyway.)  My husband, on the other hand cannot see anything in it but the flaws and is deeply embarrassed when anyone notices it.  He's especially embarrassed when I start gushing about it.  But it doesn't stop me.

That got me to thinking about that line in the movie "An Affair to Remember", the line where the grandmother says of Carey Grant's character "the critic destroys before the artist would create", or something to that effect.  That describes my husband to a tee.  He has all but stopped creating art because he's too critical of what may come out of his fingertips.

I think all of us suffer from our inner critic's voice at some point or another, whether it's when cake decorating, knitting, horseback riding, or whatever.  There are so many mornings when I look at my computer screen and what I had written the day before and think, "Am I even any good at this?"  The immortal Gail Carson Levine has been known to admit that every time she starts a new story she wonders if she has another book in her.  And that's a Newberry Honor Winner!

The only I can stop my inner critic from ripping everything I write, or think of writing, to shreds, is to remember the words of my BFF Shannon Hale.  (Just as a side not: is it stalking when my BFF doesn't know she's my BFF?)  BFF Shannon says that she doesn't worry so much about the quality of her writing on the first draft because there is always another draft in which to fix it.  There's always time to make it better.

Sweet, sweet words.  Always time.

That's assuming I CAN make it better, but that's where my inner little sister comes out and says, "I can do that too!"  Don't all little sisters try to keep up with their older siblings?  Well, that's all I'm doing, I guess.

Playing catchup.

Do you hear me family??

Stop being so stinking accomplished!

I think I've gotten off topic.

No comments: