See the Art in You

Words and Photos by Rebecca T. Dickinson

Sometimes I need to retreat or go back to basics. Self-confidence fails at the keyboard. Words do not come or they are dry, plain and unimportant.

I go to my kitchen. Pull out a pan and chop up the vegetables, or I get the Crisco and butter. Some days I have to make a pie from scratch. My grandmother would say, “Why go through so much work? You can buy the shell from the store.” Sometimes I need to know I can rely on my own two hands.

In the late 1990s, a band called Jars of Clay released its self-entitled album. At least I think it was late ’90s. Maybe early 2000s. During the ancient days when many kids—like me—went to the store and bought CDs, I found an album I played to the point it scratched and skipped. The band’s song See the Art in Me was not released as a single.

“You plead to everyone see the art in me.”

The song tells about the relationship between an individual and God, but I think many writers feel this way in relation to their art. There are days when we feel like laying down the pen. We want to turn off the computer. We are connected globally on so many devices. Everything within us shuts down from the outside world until we—like the most stubborn computer—are ready to reboot.

We might look outside, whether it is online or literally outside, and see a beautiful piece. I have thought I can’t do better than that. Confidence fails me a second time.

On those days, I try not to over analyze what is wrong with my writing; did I do this; or did I forget to do that in a cover letter? The worries are like the caterpillars on the leaves. They can eat through the confidence.

Writing produces ups and downs, because the fact is a lot of great talent exists in the world. One of the blogs I enjoy so much, Rewriting Life, put up a post that has made me smile.

Whether we write to blog, for a job, creative publication or for ourselves; sometimes pressure builds up in ourselves. We know we have deadlines or commitments. We want time to clear our heads and let the story flow out on the page. That can be the greatest challenge.

And sometimes if we look below the surface, we’ll figure out a big idea and turn it into something. I urge you to just write. It does not matter if you have a deadline or you’re writing a scene in which you’re stumped, write it out. You never know what you might find.


19 thoughts on “See the Art in You

  1. nice……….pretty clearly you have written what i want for ages.
    but something i o not understand with human nature is the moment we realize art in our-self we are pretty much content and have no urge to show it or share it, at-least i think, most of us dont…………..and that also for no particular reason

    1. You are right. There is so much talent in the world, and I think many people are nervous to put their art out anywhere for the simple fact someone will analyze or judge it. You never know until you take the risk. Thank you so much for your comment! I hope you share your art!

  2. Not that I’m that experienced in working on my own writing in recent years (until picking up the blog anyway) but I find when sitting round pondering, that there are the doubts or the blank moments. Once I start writing / typing then quickly some focus comes, and the creative juices start flowing. It might not always work, but it gives something to start with, and as you pointed out, often something unexpected.

    1. You’re right. Sometimes you just have to type. One time, I just turned off the computer and worked in the back room with my pen and notepad. My mind cleared and I think I wrote some quality things. I also was able to edit as I typed the story into the computer. Thank you very much for your comment!!!

  3. I really enjoyed this post. I love baking from scratch. There’s such a feeling of accomplishment from creating something yourself. And you’re right, sometimes confidence just leaves us and we’re stuck waiting until we find that right sentence, paragraph, or scene that boosts our self esteem.

    Your last paragraph reminds me of a quote from Under the Tuscan Sun. “She said, ‘Terrible ideas are like playground scapegoats. Given the right encouragement, they grow up to be geniuses.'” And, “A terrible idea. Mmm. Don’t you just love those?” 🙂

    1. I do love those. I have not read Under the Tuscan Sun, but I will add it to my ever growing list of books to read. That is a great line, and it is true. Thank you for the compliment!
      I think writers’ minds are always working and going. I’m not certain they stop even after death, but that’s a guess. I don’t think about writing all the time, but we have to do something with our hands and minds otherwise I feel like I’ve wasted time. I love to make stuff with my hands. You’re right, it does feel good. What is your favorite thing to bake?

      1. To be honest, I haven’t actually read Under the Tuscan Sun yet either, but I do have the movie, which I love. There’s also this movie called Paper Man, which is about a writer’s struggle to work on his sophomore novel. During an argument with his wife, she asks him “What is wrong with you?” and he yells back “I don’t know what to do with my hands!” You are completely right, I think all creative types just need to be doing something, creating something.

        Oh, I don’t know if I have a favorite! I suppose my go-to recipe on a rainy day is my grandma’s snickerdoodles. But I love testing my hands with cookies, cakes, scones, and breads. Although I just started with breads, which have been a bit more difficult to get the right amount of kneading and such. I’m also rather envious of you making your own pie crusts from scratch, that is one of the few things I’ve yet to try, but it’s definitely on my recipe list! 🙂

      2. I find good lines out of movies too. It just depends on how good the writers have done. If you think about it, before the actor or actress says a single word, everything starts with a blank page. I still imagine screenplay writers in a group smoking somewhere, and discussing what they’ll write next. That is the one form of writing I’ve never touched.

        I think pie crusts, for me, are easier than bread. Bread loafs are more of a challenge. You are exactly right. It takes the right amount of kneading. I like cookies and cakes, too. Scones are one I haven’t tried yet, but I have a recipe book full of treats like that. 🙂

  4. Yes, it’s so important to just write. Sometimes you might find a sliver of inspiration in your words, enough to motivate you to just go on. And you never know when you find these wonderful nuggets…so the lesson is to fill the page…first a sentence, then another, and before you know it, you might stumble onto something you can use. Great post!

    1. Thank you so much, Subhakar! I appreciate your kind words, and I admire your own writing so much! Thank you for your encouragement and comment!

  5. I hate when that happens and you just sort of sit in frustration. However, it seems like this post sort of tore you out of that rut. Fine writing.

    1. I think it is something we go through at times. One day I felt, as a writer, dry. I have to step away sometimes. Thank you for your comment and kind support!!

  6. Loved this post. I can relate sometimes i just want to put down the pen…but we got to soldier on. I also nominated you for the Kreative Blogger award. Please check it out on my blog 🙂

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