I Love New Mexico

About all things New Mexican

Posted by admin on May - 1 - 2014 | 16 Comments

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus. You may not have noticed, but I did. I took a couple of months off from this blog that I so love, and after thinking it over, I’ve realized that I allowed other people to get in my head and dampen some of my creative enthusiasm. And screw up a bit of my work ethic. Not very professional of me, but I’m always learning.

Detail from cemetery near Chimayo. One of my dreams is to photograph every small cemetery in New Mexico.

Detail from cemetery near Chimayo. One of my dreams is to photograph every small cemetery in New Mexico.

Also not their fault. Everyone gets the privilege of expressing their opinion, and sometimes, even when people think they’re being helpful (“you should write about this,” “how about we go here – you should include this in the blog,” “You should be taking pictures right now? This is a great blog topic. . .”), my brain goes into six year-old mode. I silently cross my arms and scrunch up my lips and furrow my brow and I think to myself, “This is MY creation.  Don’t you dare tell me how to do it!”

Idiocy, right? But I had those suggestions (looking like “shoulds”) in my life and because my perception was that this blog was somehow sub-par in that person’s eyes, I stepped away rather than simply saying, “Thank you for your suggestions.”

It’s sometimes difficult to label yourself as an artist or a creative person. My best pal Sabrina and I talk about this all the time. Somehow it’s okay in today’s society to say that you’re a carpenter or a banker or a lawyer or a store clerk. Those are all valid professions in people’s eyes. But when you say you create stuff (she’s an accomplished visual artist, I’m a writer) for a living, people tend to think that what you mostly do is sit around in coffee houses and have conversations about art. They think there’s no effort involved. They think this is something everyone in the world could do if they just weren’t so busy making a living.

Not that I question the ability of many of you to do exactly what I do every day. It is a job just like everything else. It requires hours of sitting in the chair writing and rewriting and rewriting and sometimes, if you’re lucky, you end up with three paragraphs of acceptable prose.

DSCN0249So when someone comes along and says, “You should write about this,” the hair on the back of my (sometimes rather immature) neck stands up. When it happened this time and when the suggestion came from someone whose opinion seemed to matter, I continued to write the articles and blogs and posts that are required for my clients (have to keep the wolf from the door, right?), but I neglected this blog.

Silly stuff, yes. But even at my age, I learn something new every single day. What I learned in this process is that I have to believe in what I do. I have to accept that the profession God gave to me is to write, write, write, and to encourage anyone else who wants to be creative.  I also have to tell as many stories as I possibly can while I’m here. And I get to listen to as many stories as possible.

So here I am, back in this proverbial saddle, telling each and every one of you out there that I hope you know that your biggest job in life is to keep believing in whatever it is that you do. If someone comes along and that someone feels like a negative force in your work, let them go. You can do it gently, but definitely do it.

We have a big job in this world. We all have to make this life as loving and kind and full of beauty as possible, each one of us. Don’t let anyone distract you from that.

16 Responses so far.

  1. I love other people’s ideas and suggestions, sometimes they come up with something that is fantastic, I say keep ‘em coming. BUT, they have to run through my filter. You gotta change your perspective on this (only a suggestion.)

    I loathe writing, so I must get back to my real job. Which isn’t a job at all; I just sit down at my computer and sneeze out designs. It is totally automatic, and takes no effort at all.

    I am glad I have you to call at the end of a long day, otherwise I would beat my head against the wall, and that is a fact.

    • admin says:

      You’re right about other people’s ideas and suggestions. . .But I do need to revamp my filter. The ones I’m talking about are the “shoulds”. The “you should be doing it this way instead of the way you’re doing it,” folks. Thanks for the suggestion yourself, Sparkle D. Jane! And thanks for keeping me from going crazy every day.

      • Now I get what you mean! “You know what you should do” sets my teeth on edge.

        Now, I REALLY need to start moving stuff around until it looks good. That’s how I roll.

        You know what YOU should do? Keep your ass in the chair. WEE HAW!

  2. Christina says:

    Oh yes indeed, the “helpful friend” who doesn’t help. As the poster above pointed out, sometimes they do turn you on to new stuff, but as she also said, you have to filter out what doesn’t serve. I spent much of my youth thinking no one could tell me anything about myself that I didn’t already know; I’m smart, insightful, thoughtful – how could that possibly happen? And then my life fell apart and I wound up in therapy and discovered that a complete stranger could see things in me that I absolutely could not see myself. So then I started listening to everyone – the lady in line with me at the supermarket, random people on the street, everybody.

    I finally struck a healthy balance; listen, but don’t “take it in” – keep it out there, in the ether, and think about it. If it fits, pull it in; if it doesn’t, let it go.

    And do please keep posting! We love your blog!

  3. Elle says:

    I hear ya! I paint and very often people telll me what to paint, what colors would work better, what to add and what to paint over! I know they mean well, and it’s hard to ignore their ideas………….but I’m getting better at it 🙂
    It’s like telling some one to have a child with a certain color hair or eyes! Creation is better just as it is.

  4. Juan Dimingus says:

    just keep at it, I love to read them….. make your own trail.

  5. Terry Rowe says:

    perfect lesson & message for the day. I try to see it as people thinking they’re being helpful when they say “you should paint this, photograph this, write that” instead of them trying to improve me or saying that my work isn’t good enough. Hard. And sometimes that is what they think.

    “your biggest job in life is to keep believing in whatever it is that you do” great thought.

    Let’s all keep doing what gives us joy & makes us sign, and let go of the nay-sayers & doubters.

  6. You have certainly been an encouragement to me to write, and I appreciate that more than you know! Please keep doing what you do SO well and don’t let anyone get into your head. That’s your creative mind and not anyone else’s. Love you friend.

  7. David Erwin says:

    No Worries… Go! Play! Enjoy! …And if you want to share, We’ll peek in on you from time to time.

  8. Tiffany says:

    You just keep writing away!

  9. karyn h says:

    Welcome back. I missed ya!

    We will all be here. Take your time or blog every day….we will be here.

  10. Marleen Roberts says:

    Please just keep doing what you’re doing…and doing so well. I lost my heart to New Mexico in 1971 when my husband took a too short job in Albuquerque. I have been back several times, usually on the way to somewhere else, and I continue to revisit those vistas in my mind. Some days I actually ache with the need to go back and stay awhile and it’s all I can do not to take a left onto I-40 and just keep heading west!

    So please, keep your blog just as it is. What you do is wonderful and meaningful. If others don’t like it they can go start their own blog!

    • admin says:

      Thanks, Marleen! Such good words to hear this morning. And get back to New Mexico as soon as you can – we need your kind of fans here.

  11. L Websr says:

    Thank you!

  12. Anne Kempter says:

    Hi, just read this article. Your’s is one of the first pages I liked on FB when I came to live in Texas from Australia. My husband is from NM and I had such wonderful memories of our time spent there. Texas is great but my heart longed for something more beautiful. Thanks for helping to brighten my days.

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