Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Begging Forgiveness

JoAnn Arnold

First of all I have to apologize for missing my turn to blog two weeks ago. It's kind of like having one of those dreams Cindy talked about only when I woke up, I found that it wasn't a dream, I really did forget. But, I have a very good excuse. My daughter-in-law called and said, "can you come a few days earlier than planned for Thanksgiving? I have signed you up for a Watercolor Class on Tuesday with a good friend of mine who will teach you how to love painting in this medium."

Now, I've never worked with watercolor because I thought it was too hard . . . too unforgiving if you made a mistake . . . and I like oil and acrylic and pencil where you can just cover up or erase the mistakes. Rochelle knew this. But being the good daughter-in-law that she is, she decided it was time to bury my fears and step up to the challenge.

You can see my concern. What if I fail miserably and it floods my creativity brain cells with shame? What if I . . . Well, you know what we all put ourselves through when not knowing the unknown until it's forced upon us.

Tuesday came and my thoughts were filled with pails of colorful doubts, all other responsibilities drowning in the flood. However, I put on a brave face and let Rochelle drive me to her friend's house where this lovely lady appeared at the door, greeted me with a tender smile and invited me in. (I think Rochelle had filled her in on my great fear of watercolor). She led me to her kitchen where on the table lay everything one needed to create with watercolor. at this point let me say that the moment I sat down, the door of learning opened and the fear was swept away in the excitment of the education.

What an incredible learning experience - not only in finding that I really enjoyed working with the medium but that I could do it. There was a greater lesson learned, however. Fear of failure had kept me from learning something exciting for more than twenty years.

I had to share this with you, partly so that you might understand why I failed to post, but also to tell you one more very important lesson I learned. Whether as an artist or an author, it is the same. We have to not be afraid to try something new. We cannot be afraid of reaching out and finding that new medium that will take us to the next level as an author. We have to open that door that will allow us to believe we can write so that we can.

We have to step up and not be afraid of failure . . . or, I suppose booksigning launches. (Right Cindy?)

I leave you with this thought. "If you think you're too small to be effective, you have never had an encounter with a mosquito."


C.L. (Cindy) Beck, author said...

JoAnn, I'm so proud of you for trying watercolors! I always wanted to learn to do it, and now I can follow your lead! :)

And I had to laugh at you telling me not to be afraid of book launches. I think I'll try to take your advice on that count.

By the way, loved your mosquito quote. :)

JoAnn Arnold said...

Thanks, Cindy. I'm cheering you on in you book launch.

Stephanie Black said...

JoAnn, I think artists are amazing. It amazes me how people can take a paintbrush or pencil and create gorgeous pictures. Congrats on learning a wonderful new skill!