Coming on like blazes!
I have a new group of writing students this semester. We just started class on Tuesday. As I start working with them, I’ve been looking back over some of my favorite writing books–the usual like Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird and Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. But one little gem that is not just for writers is Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, by David Bayles and Ted Orland (The Image Continuum, 1993). I love this book! Just about every line makes you stop and think or say, “Yes! That’s just right!” I’ve given it to friends in other artistic fields; a dear friend of mine who is an opera singer loved it as much as did. So here is a teaser quotation or two to make you want to run out and check it out, if you haven’t seen it before:
“When you are lazy, your art is lazy; when you hold back, it holds back; when you hesitate, it stands there staring, hands in its pockets. But when you commit, it comes on like blazes.”
And one more because I can’t resist:
“Making art now means working in the face of uncertainty; it means living with doubt and contradiction, doing something no one much cares whether you do, and for which there may be neither audience nor reward. Making the work you want to make means setting aside these doubts so that you may see clearly what you have done, and thereby see where to go next. Making the work you want to make means finding nourishment within the work itself. This is not the Age of Faith, Truth and Certainty.”