I’ve been unable to leave a comment on several of the WordPress blogs I follow. This is so unfulfilling. After reading a great post that I makes me have feelings, I type up a multi-sentence reply, something demonstrating real comprehension and affinity for your post, press send. Refresh to make certain it’s posted and poof! Vanished into thin air. Stupidly I don’t have the foresight to copy my thoughtful comment, so I write another much shorter generic one and try again. No matter, that’s not sticking either. I have several back and forths with WordPress “help”. They want me to know that my comments are stuck in the purgatory of your WordPress spam folders. Oh gawd! I either have to tell you this or live a comment-less life. I want you to know I am reading you and reacting to your writing, but I do not want to craft a post around this dull as dishwater problem.
Have your ever visited your Comments menu page? I feel like I am asking to open a dresser drawer in your bedroom. It’s so none of my business! You can get there through the menu on the left side of the app.
That opens up a screen that shows you all your comments. At the top of the screen you can see them all (yep, that’s my virtual underwear you are looking at and yes, I feel embarrassed). I have approved all the comments you have left for me! I like them and I want them. Sometimes I will find one in “Pending” and I have to say Yes, go ahead and make that puppy public. That might happen the first time someone comments, but after that WordPress assumes ongoing consent. Different than sex! That needs to be checked every time.
I don’t know why WordPress puts stuff in spam, why WordPress puts me in Spam, but could you go take a peak and see if I am in there? If you find me there, I promise it will be a pleasant surprise.
Thank you! Now back to gripping and talking about art.
Having ideas for me is easy. Ideas are just thoughts and who know where they come from, but they are impossible to stop. Turning an idea into an actual thing, executing it, manifesting it, that’s very hard. Nothing just comes, everything has to be implemented.
I have a voice in my head that plays devil’s advocate on any idea we are interested in pursuing. This analytical character loves to quickly game out our idea and get right to pointing out potential problems. While we struggle to maintain enthusiasm and even memory for the initial idea, they rapidly innumerate the pitfalls and problems we are likely to experience. Knowing us as well as we know ourselves, they are particularly adept at seeing where our weaknesses are going to come into play and reminding us how ideas didn’t work out in the past due to poor follow through and systemic indecision. There is only one way around this fellow, stop telling him anything and just get to it.
Take any part of the idea and implement something. If you want a blog, create a site on WordPress. If you want to draw, get some paper. Or even better, just draw something. On anything and hang it up where you will see it multiple times a day. Or maybe it’s a much bigger idea like turn Sidewalk Faces into a book, sell prints online, have a show. What do you do then?
The first idea, the initiating big idea, is not really a thing at all, it’s just a trail marker at the beginning of the hike. It signifies that you are at the beginning and should go forward. The good ideas come after you have taken the first action. They are more useful than the ideas the critic was responding to because those ideas were theoretical. The ideas that follow an action are much easier to implement because they are connected to something tangible. If you signed up with WordPress for a blog and then wrote a post it wouldn’t be too difficult to have an idea about a second post. And way less difficult to write it because all you would have to do is log in and go. The trick is to do the idea that has a motor behind it, the one you most truly want to do, not the one you think you should do. Not the one the critic says will add up to something.
I started this blog six years ago, before I had made my first Sidewalk Face. I didn’t know what it was for. I just wanted to write more. I wanted to see what I would write if I gave myself a place to do it. I am almost at one hundred posts! I now know what I like to write about and if I am able to conceptualize a book, I have some written content to play with. As for selling my work, I am so close. Stay tuned! Just don’t tell my inner critic what we are up to!