Project 313 – Post No. 049

Writing posts for this project stimulates my topic-generating engine. Meaning, stuff I would normally let go or file away is now — because of this project — written down as topics for future posts. I have many . . . and still, they come. 

Today, one came out of the past. Specifically, my Viable Paradise experience. One of my fellow Vipers XIX tweeted something oft repeated. In fact, it was its own topic at Viable Paradise. 

Writers — and artists, and anyone who does anything creative — often struggle with doubt . . . sometimes, to the point of hating one’s work. In this particular instance, the person may have used the colloquial and not the literal version of “hate”.

As presented in the workshop, the feeling is described as actual hate. 

Be it luck, hubris, ignorance, or whatever term you want to employ, it’s not my nature to hate my work.

The thing is, I find it difficult believing other people actually hate what they produce. If they do — in my opinion — they’re doing it wrong.

I’ve crossed paths with people who lacked the confidence to share their work because they felt it fell short of whatever undefined metric they assume other people employ when deciding if something is crappy, bad, good, or awesome.

But, I don’t think they hate their work because if they did, they would destroy it. They would punch the “delete” key and never give the effort a second thought. They would shatter the piece of art they sculpted, burn the pages of drawings they’ve made, or otherwise get rid of the object of their hate. In fact, they would stop doing whatever produces these objects of hate. 

So, what’s going on? Why the hyperbole?

I can only assume they’re not happy with something about their work. Here, then, I have to stop speculating because — again — my brain doesn’t work like that. My brain works the opposite of that . . . here; let me describe how it works.

Let’s say I start a new hobby. At no point will I hate anything — anything — I produce. At no point will I get rid of anything I produce. More than that, I’ll happily parade it for all to see.

Have you ever seen wealthy people point to the first dollar they ever made (or such equivalent)? They might now have billions, but they point to the first one. When they made that first dollar they didn’t say stuff like “What is this!? A dollar! One lousy dollar!! I hate it!” Nope . . . they framed it. That’s how I feel about new stuff I do.

Not because I’ll think it’s great; rather, because I’ll like it. I’ll like it in the context of my then-current expertise and effort. I’ll let anyone and everyone see what I have created (my crude drawings are such an example). Not to get their approval and/or encouragement, but because at every step in the development of whatever skill I’m honing, I know I gave it my all and my best . . . for the current level of my expertise. I can’t be ashamed of that; I can only be proud of it. It’s one step toward the next level. It’s also why I can easily dismiss unfair criticism. 

Mind you, I’m not an idiot; I’ll know I’ve not produced greatness and I’ll be my own worst critic; I’ll point out the flaws (even the ones not immediately visible) and where I can improve. I’ll accept constructive criticism and ignore judgments based on unreasonable expectations.

When it comes to writing, it’s even easier. There might be flaws in the mechanics of telling whatever story I’ve written, but I wrote the story because I liked the story.

I liked the way I felt when I had the idea for the story, I enjoyed developing the story, and I was thrilled with each moment spent putting it down on digital paper. There’s simply no way I can but like the end result . . . the story itself.

Sure, I might tweak the way words fall on a page and the number of commas and cut some superfluous adjectives, but the core of the work, the story, remains. 

The fact that others might not like it? Well, we all have different tastes, no? Besides, I wrote the story for someone with tastes similar to mine; someone who was waiting for it and who will enjoy reading it. It need not be billions of people and I might never even meet or hear from them, but I have confidence in the power of the story . . . or I wouldn’t have written it in the first place.

I could psychoanalyze this “hating” of the results of one’s effort but I’m not a professional. But, you know, if I — as an amateur — were to analyze people, I would first and foremost say . . . perhaps it’s not what you’ve created that you hate. Perhaps it’s something else altogether. Perhaps you should work on that. 

And now, the photo:

Project 313 049

Of all the photos I have of Disneyland, this is probably my favorite. Well, the original. Although, this version of it is not bad. Then again, I like everything I do, remember? Of course, I’m going to like this; I’d like it even if the other 7,625,144,995 people in the world (at the time I wrote this) hated it. 

I mean, I hate to beat a dead horse when, you know, it’s dead, but me liking something is not predicated on others liking it. More often than not, it seems the opposite is true. Something — or someone — everyone likes leaves me cold if not outright falls in my dislike column. 

It could be that there’s a dominant contrarian gene regulating my response to things, but I don’t think so.  

. . . and Melisa makes five . . . 

I kid, of course . . . I don’t know everything. I can, however, fake it pretty good. I mean, it’s a good bet when someone is asking a question that they don’t know the answer. Ergo, I can make up whatever answer I want; as long as it’s not too outlandish and is logically consistent and meets certain expectations, people will buy it. 

Heck, even if it’s nuts, people will buy it. How else can one explain the 2016 election? I mean, really? Those were the best candidates we could find? 

I’ve presented a few of these doodles before but I have more . . . and decided to do two GIF animations . . . the first called Same Thing Different Versions

Same Thing Different Versions

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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