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  • Writer's pictureCarol Wiebe

The Hokey Pokey

A few months ago I decided that I wouldn’t blog anymore until I figured out how to use WordPress properly. Well, I put tabs in a binder and began making categories, and that’s about as far as I got. It took this long to realize that it wasn’t WordPress that was the problem–they have a pretty decent help section. It was my own tendency to think I had to have everything perfectly prepared, arranged, worked out, WHATEVER, before I could actually move forward in a substantial way. I began to tune in to my own excuses, and realize they were excuses.

OK, I’m making myself nervous, here, becoming afraid that I’m revealing too much (To whom? About what?). What is it I want to achieve with this blog, anyway? Hmmmmmmm. Connect with other artists, put my work out there, share techniques, ideas, insights. So what is stopping me from doing that?

What is this “Doing it right” thing, anyway? Sometimes the metaphor of a monkey on the back is used, but my “daemon” is definitely a crow (Read “The Golden Compass” by Philip Pullman to understand this reference). The crow is shiny black, with huge ruffly wings. Her CAW mocks me, laughs at my overly-serious approach to art, my vociferous insistence that I’m just doing this for FUN! If I don’t get too serious, I can’t fail, can I?

Which gets me to the book my sister recommended: “The Success Principles,” by Jack Canfield (of Chicken Soup fame). I’m reading it, and though part of me wants to scream “HOKEY,” or thinks others might, another part of me is listening quite attentively and asking “What if the hokey pokey really IS what it’s all about?” Seriously, though, this paragraph represents the ideas that have penetrated my defense mechanisms:

“I have found that the one thing that seems to separate winners from losers more than anything else is that winners take action. They simply get up and do what has to be done. Once they have developed a plan, they start. They get into motion. Even if they don’t start perfectly, they learn from their mistakes, make the necessary corrections, and keep taking action, all the time building momentum, until they finally produce the result they set out to produce . . . or something even better they conceived of when they started.”

I have a plan. I want to write a book about the way I make art, and why. I want people to see my work, and “feel something” when they do. I want to sell my work so it can live with others and speak to them on a daily basis. I want to teach at some of the great venues out there, and exchange my knowledge and ideas for the knowledge and ideas of others. I want to inspire and be inspired.

So, here I am taking action. Writing in this blog–putting something out there, like a seed, and inviting my own growth. Silencing the inner critic, the doubts, the fears, the perfection trap. I’ve stated my intentions, and I am starting a journal in which those intentions will be specifically fleshed out. No more skeletal intentions, hiding in closets because that’s easier than dancing out on the sidewalk, in full view, and risking an embarrassing trip on the cracks, a fall, a clatter of bones.

I am here–I am an artist–this is my vision–this is my dream–this is what I do.

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