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Red Shoe Ramblings » Poetry Thursday: Children Have the Right Idea

Poetry Thursday: Children Have the Right Idea


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Last night, as I was trying to catch up on reading a few blogs before bedtime, I visited my friend kristen’s blog where she had posted a poem by her daughter Irene, written when Irene was 5 1/2 years old. How about if you take a minute to go read it. I’ll wait.

:::::Lalalaaaa lalaaaa lalalaaaa::::::: (hold music!)

Isn’t that a cool poem? It brought wonderful images to my mind. But what it also did was to remind me of something I know but frequently forget - that the best way for creative people to accomplish creative things is to follow the Nike ad advice and Just Do It.

I have a bad recurring habit of procrastinating when it comes to creative endeavors, whether it’s making quilts, drawing, writing poems, or whatever. I’m always waiting for inspiration - for the “right” idea to pop into my head, the idea for something wonderful and perfect. But waiting is an addictive habit. The more you put off creating, the easier it becomes to just never get around to doing it at all.

I bet Irene didn’t dither or worry about whether her idea for a poem was good enough to be worthy of her time and effort. I bet she just had something she wanted to express and sat down and wrote it. Good for her!

I believe that’s the very best way for creative people to create - to just draw, paint, sew, write, whatever it is they do - while accepting that not every idea will work out and be wonderful. Sometimes we’ll create things that just make us say “omigawd, what was I thinking?” and then toss them out. But that’s ok! That’s the thing I keep forgetting and having to relearn over, and Over, and OVER again is that it’s ok to try things that don’t work out like you thought they would.

I started to write “it’s ok to fail” but really I don’t even think that’s it. I think that’s part of my problem is viewing the creative efforts that don’t work out as failures when what I should be doing is viewing the ones that don’t work out as practice and lessons learned.

The one area where I tend to not worry so much about an idea being The One is photography. I used to be the same way about looking for only the “right” shot when I was using film all the time, but the advent of digital cameras really changed my attitude there because it made it so easy to point and shoot at any old thing, knowing that I could preview each shot and delete them in seconds if they didn’t work out. I didn’t have to waste time and money having photos developed that turned out to be horrible.

But it’s harder to keep myself in the Just Do It attitude for other creative efforts because all the other ones use up time, materials, or both and then I wind up feeling wasteful if they turn out to not be very good. But that’s self-defeating. It really is. I need to get past that.

So, Irene, thank you for the inspiration. My wish for you is that you will continue creating throughout your life and never, ever worry about whether what you create is worth your time. Because it is.

It is.

You can find posts by a lot of other creative souls by following the links on Poetry Thursday.

Here’s today’s Daily Art Thang:

fleabane

“Fleabane” (Terrible name, but such a pretty little wildflower/weed! It’s clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)

17 Responses to “Poetry Thursday: Children Have the Right Idea”

  1. on 26 Jul 2007 at 11:01 am JC

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    Crudballs, I can’t read the poem from work. But your point is excellent. I think just trying creative things even if they ultimately don’t work out is essential. I can’t count the number of times that a terrible photo lead me to a completely different way of thinking about a scene or even gave me an idea about a completely different approach.

  2. on 26 Jul 2007 at 11:44 am quilt pixie

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    deprogramming ourselves from seeing failure is so important isn’t it…. we tried something, we learned something (even if it was we don’t like X) isn’t that enough to expect of any one experience — I’m not sure why we also laden it with it must be good (as I define it), it must be provocative, it must be worthy, must make a statement — but I think we all do.

  3. on 26 Jul 2007 at 11:46 am Star

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    I absolutely agree. I have suffered from the same feelings of wastefulness and, in spite of many stern words from myself to just get over it, it lingers. Like you, I don’t have any problem with photography now that we live in the digital era, although I still wonder about how much disk space all my photos take up, but we won’t go there.

    Love your DAT today. They remind me of a flower (probably a weed) that grew up between the cracks of the cement out by where our barn used to be when I was a kid. Very pretty and daisy-like.

  4. on 26 Jul 2007 at 12:29 pm amber

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    “what I should be doing is viewing the ones that don’t work out as practice and lessons learned.” — Yes, soooo ture. Me too. This is true of writing for me. Well, and many other things.

    But you are nuts, because your pics always rock. I use them as wallpaper all the time.

    :)

  5. on 26 Jul 2007 at 1:37 pm Paris Parfait

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    This is so true! I have a secret fear that I won’t be good at something I haven’t done in ages (like art) and put it off and put it off, when I should just sit down and create something! No excuses. Thanks for this lovely post.

  6. on 26 Jul 2007 at 2:38 pm kristen

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    i’m done whelmed over! when irene gets home i’ll show her your post in response to her poem. she will be delighted! and i’d like to let you know, as well, that you are one of the most creative people i know and i feel hugely lucky to know you. you are one of those people who makes the world a better place!

    i have also got procrastinationitis…once i’m in the doing, i am having fun and enjoying the process…but getting to that point…ugh. it’s hard. i second guess myself over and over again.

    like julie zs says…JUST DO IT ANYWAYS!

  7. on 26 Jul 2007 at 3:00 pm amy

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    I procrastinate about writing, but dive right in on knitting (where I’m often designing my own projects). I wonder why that is? Writing feels like Pressure (except for blogging, which is just fun), while designing with yarn feels like Solving a Problem. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, but I have no answers yet.

  8. on 26 Jul 2007 at 3:52 pm daisies

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    oh yes .. that poem is absolutely divine :) it makes me want to pull out my old journal poem scrawls …

    you are so right ~ we all need to just dive in and get messy and allow ourselves to not judge what we are doing but just do it !! i am so taking your advice while i am on vacation because there will be a whole lot of writing and photography time i suspect ;-)

  9. on 26 Jul 2007 at 3:53 pm denise

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    Putting off projects is what I do alot of too, I am totally with you with the not wanting to ‘waste’ time and materials on projects that do not live up to our idea. Something to work on!

  10. on 26 Jul 2007 at 4:36 pm Janet

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    Is THAT what that flower is! Wonder if it actually IS a bane to fleas? Hmmm…

    Wonderful picture, post and poem!

  11. on 26 Jul 2007 at 10:19 pm ceanandjen

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    What a perfect reminder right now…from the wonderful mouth of babes..thank you for pointing this out to us! xoxo

  12. on 27 Jul 2007 at 12:26 am ...deb

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    Thank you for such a clear view into my own insecurities and worries. I am invigorated reading here, today, reminded that this is one of those conditions of humanity (for most of us anyway, I would bet.) :-)

  13. on 27 Jul 2007 at 3:21 am Crafty Green Poet

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    So true! Just grab your pen or paints and create and yes if it doens’t work out learn lessons from it rather than labelling it failure. Great post. Your photo is wonderful….

  14. on 27 Jul 2007 at 8:11 am paisley

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    what a lovely poem,, and at such a tender age… i wonder did she go on to write???

    the simplicity of the words so often befuddles us.. i know it does me,,, if i let them flow they will… if i try to contort them,, and force them,, they fight like savages!!!!!

  15. on 27 Jul 2007 at 12:20 pm Tammy

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    Irene’s poem is lovely!

    I’m a procrastinating queen! lol

  16. on 27 Jul 2007 at 12:25 pm Dani in NC

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    I definitely can relate to this post. I procrastinate because I worry about wasting time, energy, and resources. I want to do something once, and I want it to be perfect! This hits me the worst in the area of writing, but it extends to many of my other pursuits. I have yarn that is waiting for the perfect pattern, a blog I want to start but I haven’t found the perfect template, and even books sitting on my bedside table waiting for me to decide which one to read first. “Just Do It!” needs to be tattooed across the back of my hand!

  17. on 27 Jul 2007 at 4:46 pm Tumblewords

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    Now there’s a post! I sometimes wonder if my creations are failures. Fortunately, I’m blessed with the kind of sight that prevents my spending much time deciding. That’s probably a bad thing. Grin. Love the fleabane.