A writer’s life can be a lonely life. We paint a picture with words and share it with the world. The world will either see the big “picture” or not. I often think of Vincent van Gogh, the post-impressionist painter, and his struggle to paint the big picture. He was largely misunderstood and not appreciated during his lifetime and his fame grew only after his death. Van Gogh is today widely regarded as one of history’s greatest painters. He is an important contributor to the foundations of modern art.
Allow me to offer an example of how a writer, this writer, can oftentimes be misunderstood. After accepting a writing assignment from a Professional for his blog, I decided to paint a picture with words using an analogy of things kept “in the closet.” I read and reread the article several times and vividly pictured the scenario and actually thought it was quite good. I sent it off with high hopes that the client would “see the picture.” He didn’t see it at all and, in fact, he actually wrote, “I do not enjoy the closet analogy one bit.” End of story.
The rewrite took a great deal of time and effort and I would hardly be compensated for my time and energy when I was paid the six dollars that I would garner from the assignment. Still, I felt compelled to complete it. I forged ahead, using WebMd as my guide and referenced their analogy to the “engine under the car hood” as opposed to my messy closet scenario. I wasn’t pleased with the outcome but like van Gogh, I finally let it go into the starry night.
The end result was that the client accepted the final article and I accepted the six dollar payment. In an untypical writer etiquette fashion, I had to have the last word and wrote him a short note that said, “Women are from Venus and Men are from Mars. I liked the closet and you preferred cars!”
I know how van Gogh felt when he painted The Starry Night – widely acclaimed to be his most famous of all his paintings. He did it from memory of the view outside his window in the sanatorium. In the end, van Gogh was never satisfied with his final artwork. It became his most famous piece. Imagine that.
Should an artist, a writer ever be satisfied? What we offer the world and those who view our works should be nothing less than our very best work.
The answer is “No” – we should never be satisfied. It is the hunger for more and more, the need to go back and go further next time. To continue to produce the very best from within ourselves that keeps us producing the very best we have to offer the world.
In the end, not everyone will agree on what we offer up and they will see it differently because women are from Venus and men from Mars and we all know that we prefer closets over cars.
WebMd *(under the hood) http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/oral-health-the-mouth-body-connection