The Pursuit of Perfect Happiness

     My latest project – outside the many writing projects I have going – is the pursuit of a true Study in my home, a place totally dedicated to writing. In this pursuit I understand a lot of work is ahead of me. I plan to have floor-to-ceiling bookshelves filled with my ever growing collection of books…I can picture it in my head and the picture launches me into my own nirvana.

     The first step in the project was to pick out the perfect color of paint. My woodwork is white, the floors are the original but refinished wood, and window coverings are still undecided. The wall color needs to be perfect. I needed a soothing but warm color that will nurture my creativity while working in there. I chose grey.

     What I didn’t know – and soon found out as I started the paint shopping process – was that there are literally hundreds of different variations of the color grey out there! Now remember, I am an artist, but also a has-been Interior Decorating Consultant (not as glamorous as it sounds), so you’d think I would know this.

     Paint me clueless!

     I had to call in a friend for help. She is not an artist or a writer – she’s much more level headed and normal – so I thought she would be perfect for the job of decision maker.

     I was correct.

     She didn’t see that one grey had a tint of blue in it, one had a tint of green, and one was too pink, etc. She just held the different swatches up to the wall and told me what looked best.

     As simple as that.

     At some point I had turned my life into something where nothing was perfect enough. Why can’t I just enjoy something without over analyzing it, picking it apart, and trying to make it perfect? Chill out!

     It’s the same with my writing.

     I have fallen into the bad habit of never being comfortable with it not being perfect. My writer friends attend critique groups where they offer up pieces of their writing for other writers to read and make suggestions on.

     Can I do that?

     EEK!

     Maybe after I’ve put a few years of rejections behind me. At this point, I am more comfortable having a complete stranger – like a potential agent or publisher – pick apart my manuscripts than my own friends.

     I wouldn’t be as embarassed about doing a bad job if a total stranger saw it as opposed to my writer friends. Right?

     How would I ever face them if they read some of my stuff and it wasn’t good enough? Yes, these thoughts do run through my mind. Humiliation on a local level is far worse that long-distance humiliation. I have to face my friends, where it’s much easier to hide in shame from an agent located in New York or California. Or I could always change my name…

     Twisted, huh?

     Nope, just the thoughts of an as-yet-unpublished writer working on building up her self confidence. I’ve got a long road ahead of me.

One thought on “The Pursuit of Perfect Happiness”

  1. We’re all in this together so do what you feel comfortable with, but I will say sometimes you’re right. Not for the reason you stated, but because sometimes friends aren’t always truthful in helping you fix what’s wrong. Instead they sugar coat it. Personally I find that even worse than having them rip my work apart. Maybe instead of a group you need a one on one partner. Make sure it’s an even exchange. Just a thought.

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