Tuesday, April 20, 2010

THE GUT BUSTER

BELIEF = CONFIDENCE WHICH CAN GIVE A WHOLE NEW VIEW



Normally Tuesdays are saved for GRAFFITI WALL coverage, sharing an interview with you from a fantabulous new writer or illustrator. I've decided to postpone that until tomorrow when I'll post Kiersten White's interview. Make sure you come back to visit. She's wonderful. But for today, I decided to give you something different, kind of full circle.


I'm sure some of you have had that ...Uh, I think that was supposed to happen...feeling, or maybe ...Yeah, I think I was supposed to hear that...or even see that.



Well, It happened to me the other day and I just have to share it with you. 


I'm walking through our main family room towards the mudroom on my way out to an appointment. On my way, I pass two of my boys lounging on the couch watching some lame teeny bopper show. For some unknown reason I decide to stop and watch for a minute. 


There's this girl on TV acting out a scene in front of her drama class at school. She's dressed in some ridiculous eighteenth-century outfit and wearing a poorly fashioned pair of rimmed eyeglasses, probably referred to as spectacles. She's reciting some poem about a bird--actually a Cockatoo.


The bird has been trained to help her act out the poem. The girl put a ton of effort into this project and it seems she's doing a pretty good job. The bird does everything she asks and she finishes with a classic ending. The class giggles and sniggers a bit, and the teacher stands up from the back of the room.

The girl lifts her arms up saying, "So, how'd I do?"

Teacher's response, "You failed."

The girl freaks. She can't understand why she failed and proceeds with a laundry list of reason why her hard work has value. She finalizes by saying, "I don't care what you or anyone else thinks. I worked hard and this is darn good!"

The teacher and the students clap.

Of course the girl is confused, so the teacher approaches gingerly; the girl is really upset.

He says, "You passed the bird test."

She questions, "Huh?"

"Darla (just to use a female name), the purpose of this exercise was to teach a drama student to TRUST in his or her own instincts and to BELIEVE in one's gut. A true artist is not someone who cares what he or she or he thinks; but the true artist is the one who PLEASES him or herself and those who happen to appreciate it."

DING, DING, DING!! 
Epiphany moment...for that character and for me. 

As a dancer--I've mentioned it briefly in the past; maybe eventually I'll share how close the prospect of making it in New York really was for me, but not now--I never once went to a performance on stage worried. Never ever did I second guess myself. WHY? Because I did it for me. AND ME ALONE. Not in a conceded way but because it was my passion.

WRITING is now my passion.

I want to thank all of you who visited and posted comments on my Freak Out Friday post. You were all awesome.
(My husband was able to take today off and with the kids on school vacation, I've decided to spend a little time with them. I'll check in later, though, to respond to your comments. I just love your comments. Thanks again.) 

13 comments:

  1. It's all in the gut! Great post Sheri!

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  2. I saw that show! It's called Victorious on Nickelodeon or something. My daughter loves it.

    That is a great scene and a great piece of advice for any artist.

    Thanks for sharing Sheri!

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  3. As a writer, I've been where you are. I foolishly rewrote a novel based on what an experienced person told me. True, they were experienced, but not in what I was trying to accomplished. I took a novel that won a couple minor awards and turned it into dogfood. I'm not ever sure the dogs would eat it. So, I rewrote again, adding back in what made ME happy, what worked for ME. And you know what? It published anyway. I love it. And my readers love it. That's all that matters.

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  4. I love this post. It's so true. I write how I see things and what's important to me. I write for me.

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  5. What a powerful post Sheri,and so true. I think if we stick to what our instincts are telling us, we can't go wrong.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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  6. Okay Sheri, I am learning so much about you. I didn't realize you were a dancer! I danced in high school, but never took it further than that. I agree that we have to write for ourselves and have a passion in what we are doing or else it just doesn't happen. =)

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  7. Oh, very cool. Yanno, in a way, every time you get a rejection letter, that's like being told you failed--and sending another one out it having the belief in yourself.

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  8. That's such great advice. As I get ready to submit and receive rejection letters, I'm trying to focus more on the personal satisfaction of writing which is something I can control rather than what others think of it. It's something I need to remind myself of frequently to not get discouraged.

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  9. Great point, if you try to please everyone else you end up with something that doesn't at all resemble what you start out to do (not that it's happened to me like that before...).

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  10. Matt, that's hilarious!! Small world. Wendy, your awesome. Stina, thank you.

    Beth, Yanno will forever be with me now. ";-)

    I appreciate all your comments. Great discussion.

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  11. I think that was one of your BEST POSTS Sheri!

    The fact that you are a dancer is NO surprise though - you had to be some kind of born, natural ARTISTE.

    When you see it in that light it casts a whole new GLOW on the whole process.
    THANKS TO YOU AND YOUR KIDS for this one!

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  12. You have a way with words, Ann Marie. ";-) You're a real friend.

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