Too, too often, waiting for doing it “the right way”, “the best way”, “the perfect way”, “the professional way”, results in just “not doing it at all.” Don’t let your desire for perfection hold you back. Do what you can. When you can do better, then do better. Yes, some things deserve your best. But you’d be surprised how many things simply need “pretty good” or even just “okay”. […]
And here’s the subject of the column, the 1930’s faux cheetah-skin sofa that resides in my art studio.
Years and years ago, Jon and I discovered guitar musician/composer George Cromarty.
We bought his album, “Wind in the Heather”, I believe soon after we moved to Baltimore in 1983. I think we wore the grooves out on the record.
Many years later, I realized I hadn’t heard any of his music since we’d switched to cassettes, and then CDs and MP3 players. So I went looking for more modern formats of his music.
I found nothing.
In a panic, I realized that somehow this amazing musician had dropped out of sight.
All that was left to prove he’d ever existed was some references and my single copy of his album.
Turns out Mr. Cromarty didn’t record much music, and some of it may not have been preserved. What was recorded was only available on vinyl. He died in 1992.
But that’s changing. The internet being the fine Galactic Encyclopedia that it is, I’m now able to find his music on YouTube. It turns out many, many other people have been looking for him, too. And it looks like there are plans in the works to digitally record his music and make it accessible again.
Until then, may I introduce–or reintroduce, if you’re already familiar with this delightful album of beautiful solo acoustical, instrumental guitar music–to George Cromarty’s Wind in the Heather.
I used the phrase as a metaphor for the power of the internet. So useful for so much, an astonishing resource not even imaginable a decade ago. We use it for shopping, research, information, selling, marketing, self-promotion and connection. I call it the “Galactic Encyclopedia”.
But everything has its dark side. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and overly-involved in things that take your farther and farther away from your own creative efforts. And when you start comparing your efforts to those of others, it can make you feel pretty darn squished.
I can’t take credit for the actual phrase, “sipping from the fire hose”. It’s been around awhile. A quick Google search turned up this definition from the Urban Dictionary:
to be overwhelmed (with information, work, etc.);
to do something intensely;
to be inundated
What made me think of it was, I’d heard that phrase twice in six months. I heard it from two different friends, who are also friends with each other, but who rarely see each other anymore (one of them moved pretty far away.)
Both of them were describing their respective jobs, which they both love.
But there’s simply too much to do. No matter how hard they work, or how much they try to chip away at their respective massive workloads, there’s always more coming down the pipe.
My friend Carol had just been in my studio a few days earlier. That’s when I heard the phrase for the second time.
Because of the coincidences, I couldn’t get it out of my head. All day I kept thinking, “Sipping from the fire hose….sipping from the fire hose….” I could even see Barb making a gesture like she was trying to drink from…well, a fire hose.
I had to write a column in a hurry. (My poor editor, Carrie Turner at Fine Art Views. No matter how many times she gives me a heads-up, I still forget when my column is due. In my defense, she says the late ones are often my best.)
(Okay, I think she’s just being kind.)
I was enmeshed in editing my series of ebooks. I could not think of an original thing to say.
All I could think about was that stupid phrase…sipping from the fire hose…
Then….the good and the bad about water. How everything needs it to live. And yet too much is awful, too.
I thought, “What in my professional life is wonderful and awful?”
I was sitting there, tearing myself away from my project. Which I was doing on the internet. Which was totally, mind-blowingly amazing. Unheard of ten years, even five years ago. My husband had just told me that the technology for on-demand printing was expanding so quickly, that information I’d read that was more than six months old might already be out-of-date.
I was thinking about the power of the internet….
And how lost and confused and discouraged I’d been the day before while researching how to create a book cover….on the internet.
Sipping from the fire hose….
Once I had my metaphor, the words just poured forth. (Another water metaphor!)
For me, the use of metaphors helps me wrap my head around a concept. I don’t know how other artists/writers/creative people do it. But that’s usually the starting place for my writing.
There you have it. That’s where my ideas come from. They come from:
My friends. Complaining about work.
A funny phrase: Six months apart in time, 150 miles apart in space, and connected heart-to-heart in friendship.
And Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, with the amazing concept of the Galactic Encyclopedia.
And watching Kenny Roberts, the Yodelin’ Cowboy (on WNEM-TV Channel 5 in Michigan about 55 years ago. One day he sang Cool Water. (Although maybe I’ve squished this with the westerns we also used to watch nonstop around the same time.)
I’m so excited, I actually dreamed about this last night! My book! On Kindle!
Here it is in the UK. I can list other countries if you need ’em, but my husband just looked it up by searching for my name.
(Of course, I also dreamed that a cooking show host came to my house to demonstrate cooking with chocolate. And in the dream, my cat mauled many of her 10 pound bars of chocolate. (Yes, you read that right.) And she couldn’t use them, even the ones that just had a few nibbles out of them. So she gave them all to ME!) (Yes, a truly wonderful dream, too.)
I haven’t figured out the print version process yet, but I will!
And now a very gentle request…
If you’ve enjoyed my blog and my columns, would you be willing to submit a review to Amazon? I would dearly appreciate it, and I won’t twist your arm or anything. I think you can do it here.
And of course, all my blog articles are still available to read free. But as my mentor pointed out, many of the earlier articles are on an old blog platform that’s not searchable. And the one here on WordPress? Well, I didn’t understand the difference between tags and categories. So my articles are still awkward to find….
Well, as I always tell you, now that I know better, I’ll do better.
And look for my second book, Good Booths Gone Bad, tomorrow!! (I hope….)
I totally forgot I’d set this up. But apparently I have one subscriber to my blog for Kindle. So far, I’ve made $2.00. Whoever you are, thank you from the bottom of my heart! It’s the first income I’ve ever made from my blog. Kinda exciting.
If this interests you (although, of course, you can always read my blog for free), then you can purchase it here.
And if you have a few minutes, any reviews–good ones, that is–would be appreciated. Rave reviews would be even nicer.
If you hate my blog, then please don’t do this at all.
Mostly, I kept making it hard. Fortunately, I realized I was doing that, and stopped.
It’s an ebook, published on Amazon. A compilation of my blog series, “Getting People OUT of Your Booth: Create a craft show environment that helps your REAL customers shop!” It has ten chapters. 45 pages. No pictures. Although, in hindsight, the book could have been longer if I’d put a lot of pictures in it. Especially really BIG pictures….
It will be available…in 12 hours??
And it will cost $2.99.
I’m a mixture of quivering excitement/pride/happiness, and aching neck/back/butt.