What Art Has Taught Me About Writing



Most of you know that these days as well as write, I also sketch and paint.  I’ve struggled with it just like I did when I began my journey as a writer. The self-doubt, the second guessing yourself. Not being able to figure out why you can’t be as good as someone who’s been doing it for a long time…yeah, you would think writing would have told me a different story.

I’ve been wanting to draw faces for months. I even signed up for a class but all my faces ended up looking like zombies from The Walking Dead. The noses weren’t right, the mouths less than perfect, the shape of the faces were the same on every person I sketched.

Last week I had a break through. How did I know it was a ‘break through’? Excuse the pun, but I realized I’d been through it before as a writer. One day I was writing a story and figured out how I could make my characters more lifelike. Later it was how to make the dialogue more realistic. A year or two after that, how to up the emotion. I remembered it all takes time. My late mother’s favorite saying was Rome wasn’t built in a day.

While I was sketching, I realized what I was doing wrong with the noses, and this week, I figured out a easier way to draw the mouth. My people aren’t looking so zombie like now.

This got me thinking about art and writing. Both creative pursuits with a lot more in common than you’d think. Pictures and stories are make believe things in the artist and writer’s heads. We ‘see’ them and the trick is to get them portrayed in the best way possible so the person reading or viewing our work sees/reads (hopefully), the same thing.

It’s tough, it’s a challenge and I know that like my writing, the faces aren’t going to be perfect anytime soon, but I’m on the right track.

Don’t be hard on yourself if your story isn’t exactly how you want it. Keep trying and give it time.

The most important thing I’ve learned is to stop comparing myself to artists who have maybe been sketching all their lives. I’m a newbie artist. Many of you are newbie writers. I think the break through came because I told myself have fun on this journey and you’ll get there in the end just like you did with your writing.

It’s something I hope you’ll do too.

Writing How Tos Writing Tips

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