If you cannot paint…

If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. ~Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh said it more than 100 years before Steven Pressfield or Seth Godin started the discussion. The Resistance, the Lizard Brain, will only be shut-up by two things; Either you quit, or you commit.

If you dabble around and you think about painting (or singing or drawing or acting or whatever) and consider painting and put a stoke on now and again when the mood strikes and wonder what it would be like to do this full time then the voice will never be silenced. It will only leave you in peace if you give up or if you work enough to leave it behind.

(Though each day you will have to work for a bit to leave it behind again)

Time to Refine

This blog is boring.

Why? Because even though I care about this topic I don’t really want to write about it. At least not in a deep, regular way. Not yet. Maybe someday when I have more perspective. There have only been a few posts on here that really wanted to write, and focusing on what I wish I could write when I would try to write has been illuminating.

Improv is my current obsession. I love it. I’ve loved it since the first time I went to see it live (back in March, I think?) and then I loved it even more once I took the class back in early summer. I’m currently taking another level 1 class on Tuesday nights at HUGE and starting next month I’ll be taking a level 2 class at ComedySportz on Saturday afternoons. I’ve always had a secret desire to act but I never had the faintest hope that I’d have the chance. Now that I’ve tasted it I am hooked.

Because of a writing group I’m a part of I’ve read my work out loud for the first time and had a taste of all the fear and junk that goes with that. And I’ve been forced to start critiquing other people’s work, something that is even harder for me than having mine critiqued. And because of having to go with nothing to share I’ve started writing more.

After writing group one day I met a woman who does story-telling contests. Attended my first one last month and was shocked by how much I enjoyed it! Something I want to get involved in this winter. It’s writing and speaking rolled into one, a chance to practice both in a friendly, open environment.

I’m doing Morning Pages again, every single day right after I get up. It’s killing me some mornings but it works, my output rises significantly when I do them. Doing them every day for less than a month has already led to pages more than average in my journal, tons of short story ideas, a few poems, and wanting to get this blog going again.

This is an excerpt from my first post here-

“I’ve put off starting this blog for months. I have thought about it, considered it, played with it, pondered it; I didn’t start it. I refused to commit. I didn’t feel sure of myself, I thought, “a blog needs a theme, a driving point- it needs to be built around something” and so I refused to start one.

Nothing has changed.

I still don’t don’t have a theme. I still think I need one. However, my refusal to start has more to do with pride and perfectionism than it does anything else. So I’m starting a flawed, vague blog that I will refine as I go.”

I am now refining that theme. I want to focus on improv and art and writing and story-telling; communication. The name still fits. Any improvement I’ve gained in learning to write and speak and act has been nothing more than persistence in failure, a determination to pursue these things even if I look and sound like a fool.

This has been my quote over this summer–

Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.
~Charlie Chaplin

I repeat this to myself on a regular basis. No matter how ridiculous I look or sound or feel I am building into my life the skills and character I want to have in 20 years. Plus, in 20 years I’m certain I’ll still be making a fool of myself and the ability to not die of mortification will come in handy.

How 10 People Smarter Than Me See Failure

  1. Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
    Winston Churchill

  1. Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
    Theodore Roosevelt

  1. Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.
    Dale Carnegie

  1. I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.
    George Burns

  1. Success represents the 1% of your work which results from the 99% that is called failure.
    Soichiro Honda

  1. You can’t have any successes unless you can accept failure.
    George Cukor

  1. Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.
    Henry Ford

  1. Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it.
    Mia Hamm

  1. A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.
    John Burroughs

  2. Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.
    Charlie Chaplin

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