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All about words



Process in progress

Posted by nancyfreund11 on March 23, 2014 at 7:00 AM

This morning I woke up to a "creative process" Facebook post by a friend I've known since high school. So simple, so familiar, so true!  Also, I could say: overly simple, devastatingly familiar, and probably, undeniably, yes, universally true.

The Creative Process

1. This is awesome

2. This is tricky

3. This is shit

4. I am shit

5. This might be ok

6. This is awesome

My trouble with point number one, oversimplification, is the leap one assumes can be made from point 5 to point 6, with just the snap of one's fingers and a puff of magic glitter-dust.  In my world, the move from "this might be ok" to "this is awesome" takes centuries.  It is not a glittery ballet leap in tights and tutu, it is a long and treacherous uphill slog in ill-fitting hiking boots one accidentally borrowed from one's son.  A heavy backpack, no more water in the Camelback bottle, three layers of fleece when you wish you'd worn one.  The fact that it happens at all is what's magic, and the fact that is does indeed happen, eventually, every single time one attempts the high writers' Hill of Sysiphus is not just magic, it's divine.

But the process is there, every time, whatever creative endeavours we bravely tackle.  And the phase of it's-ticky-it's-shit-I-am-shit may be long and arduous and longer still every time we try again.  That's when we just have to suck up a deep breath and remember it is a PROCESS.  Not a journey, not a result, not an eyes-on-the-prize goal we must keep in our sights.  It's just doing what we do, come what may.  And eventually, what comes, what MAY come, might be awesome, yet again.

:roll: This emoticon is where I throw my hands in the air after trying to load a photo fourteen million times, to no avail.  I'm not done.  I'm not giving up.  But I'm at the point where I'm thinking it's a glitch in the system.  If you ever see a photo, an actual photo, here, showing my international cookbook plans, dance wildly and sing.  I certainly will.  

THE PHOTO!  DANCE! DANCE! BABY!  I'm leaving that nonsense and the emoticon there, just so you can really see THE PROCESS even in this. Celebrate small victories.  They are NOT small.  And thank the Lord for your teenage techs, when they show up to help.

Here's a process pic (*you wish.  No, you don't wish, You DANCE!)  of my latest work-in-progress.  One thing that keeps me firmly in point 2, "this is tricky," and hovering near the precipice but not diving over the edge of "this-is-shit," is color.  Bright green post-its and a blue Sharpie marker.  Here are 40 countries all lined up for the International Cookbook I'm editing.  Fantastic foods and countries and cultures generously revealed in here by the diverse international families in Lausanne -- and an important scholarship fundraiser too.   But it's a load of work, of course, and whenever it feels overwhelming, I remind myself of the cycle of process.  What goes around, ultimately comes around, and I'm pretty sure it's going to wind up on AWESOME. 

Categories: writing & publishing, education & literacy

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