Thursday, January 20, 2011

Injecting a Little Confidence

I finally saw Up yesterday. I thought it was a very good movie and, incidentally, Doug was my favorite character. He was lovable and honest and cute!

I also watch a show called Project Runway. For those of you unfamiliar, it is a show hosted by Heidi Klum, featuring 16 designers who have to make a catwalk "look", usually in a single day and sometimes with bizarre things. (Good examples of this are: design a look with items only from a grocery store = winner made a dress from corn husks; this season: design a look with things Only From a Hardware Store... all in all it's pretty innovative!) I'm currently almost finished with Season 7 (I know, I'm way behind!)

One of the funny things about this show, is that it gives me a lot of confidence as a writer. How could a show about fashion design make me more confident? Well, consider that they are both forms of art, carried out in a limited amount of time, to a panel of judges who may, or may not like their "design" aesthetic.

Sometimes the garments that go down the catwalk are absolutely gorgeous, or amazing, or stylish, creative, fun, witty, comfortable... something I would seek out and overpay for. Yet, the judges bash the designer, call it a "trainwreck", "complete disaster", "shoddy piece of blah". I can't understand how the judges don't see what I see. On the other hand, things go down that same catwalk that make me cringe, that I believe should never see the light of day... that I wonder if the designer even knows that someone is expected to wear that slipshod piece of work... but the judges love it, praise it... award it first prize.

In the third scenario, the judges and I are on the same page and love/hate what we are seeing and have nothing but good/bad things to say on an equal level.

I think writing is the same way. The things I (or anyone) write, can be good, fantastic, witty, amazing - something people would seek out on their own... but to some, it will be blah, boring, uninteresting and typical. Or, I could write something that I'm not entirely sure of, but people go rabid over it and demand more.

You can't please 100% of the people, 100% of the time. And may I add - if you do, then what is the point? You'll have nowhere to grow. I will settle for pleasing only one person - myself. If others also see my genius and are pleased in the wake of Typhoon Medrick, then hurrah for me!

I know what I am writing is good to some degree. I know people can enjoy it.

I was browsing in the bookstore the other day (Yes, I STILL do that). Despite my mammoth reading list, I passed a copy of Fahrenheit 451, a book I have already read, but sadly did not own. I picked it up. I put it down. I picked it up again. I looked at my fiance with quietly desperate eyes. I bought it. I read it in about a day.

Will I ever write something as full of meaning and impact as Fahrenheit 451? Mmm, probably no. Will I write something that shows my own design aesthetic to the world? Something that is "me" and I can be proud of?

Hell. Yes.

I don't have any reviews out there yet. I only have some editors who point out my grammar mistakes and plot holes. I don't have a finished product that needs defending in a violent marketplace. I have a concept, that is almost finished, that I want to do well.

But I'm not going to sweat it.

I know I have put a lot of work into this manuscript. I can see, from where I started, to how I'm writing now - I've grown while writing it.

I can be proud of my product, and hold my head up high when someone says, "You wrote that??" for better or worse. When someone asks me , I will straighten my spine, look them in the eye and say,

"Yes, I did. Thanks for asking." Then I will give them biggest s***-eating grin I can. I made it, and I'll stand by it.

Readers may be my judges, but no one can be my executioner but me!


  1. Wow Medrick! I have been struggling with confidence in my writing for the past couple of days, and you are right. As we write we grow! And I truly believe that I am growing. Yes, we want readers to be happy with our work, but we really need to find that place to be proud of our work too. Thanks for the great post!

    Angeline Kace

  2. Great post Medrick. Funny the things we can take inspiration from. I'm always looking for places to draw those comparisons--I occasionally have similar thoughts about American idol.