YES! Your Shockingly Simple Guide to Being Impossibly Awesome

cait drews writes a 50,000+ word novel in 3 days

mirriam neal draws a practically perfect tiger, having never drawn one before in her life

It's REALLY ANNOYING, ISN'T IT??  You've all got at least one friend who can just do something that you consider impossible, & they get it right.  You're partly happy for them, but mostly you feel like an itty-bitty insignificant bug & no it's not their fault but gee you don't amount to much compared to their accomplishments, right?

can you ever measure up?

Well, no.  I've heard it said that "comparison is the thief of joy," & it is.  (I haven't yet conquered this problem, but I recognize that it's a problem.)  All our art is measured by our own level of achievement, not someone else's.  Even Peter, when he started pointing fingers at John & saying "what about him," got the clapback from Jesus, "what does that matter? YOU follow me."  All artists are trying to become "better," & even when someone is, from your point of view, impossibly better at something than you are, just chill: you're not on their road, & how you get along is what matters.

but can you get from bleh to impossibly awesome?

You totally can!  And I'm not even selling anything!  The problem is, we're looking at where we are & where they are, & the distance seems - is - impossible to cross.  I just can't write 50,000 words in three days.  I can't draw a peacock in full flight & have it look breath-taking.  For me, it is legitimately impossible & no amount of pinterest pep-talk is going to change that.

the incremental upward

Take any aspect of growth - exercise, art, spiritual improvement - & you can see right off the bat that punctuated equilibriums are rare if not out of the question.  I can't go from physically unable to do push-ups, to churning out thirty at a go.  Duh.  I haven't built up to that level.  I can't go from scribbling a few paragraphs every few days to buckling down + vomiting up a full-sized novel in the span of time Jesus was in the tomb.  Not happening!  I am not that kind of magic.  (if i was, i would totally be doing it right now) I can't go from struggling/failing daily with this body of sin to being holy as my Father is holy just like BLAM halo + all.  Like all human beings, I'm a progressive creature: sudden catapults into perfection do not happen.

The key.  ||  Stop looking at the far distance in relation to where you are.  Look at your art just as you would look at an exercise regimen.  Where you begin may be pitifully small, but at the moment that's all you can do The trick is to work + build + increase.

the impossible is only impossible because we want to be there now

And it just doesn't work like that.  You have to build up to it.  Cait Drews worked hard to teach herself how to "sprint" write, a process which took time, & now enables her to write lots of words for long stretches of time.   She built up to it.  Mirriam Neal had never drawn a tiger in her life, but she has taught herself how to "see" a drawing & to communicate an image through her motor skills.  She built up to it.

There isn't anything massively special about Cait or Mirriam (sorry, guys!) which prevents you from achieving the impossible too.  You have only to accept that you can't get from here to there in a shot: it takes incremental improvement to achieve.  

but once you've done it, look at what you can do! <3

15 ripostes:

  1. The 'sad but true' truth. Thanks for posting about this. As person who struggles with being surrounded by incredibly talented friends, it's encouraging to know there are others. Thanks for sharing this post.

  2. Lilly - always! It really is very hard to NOT be discouraged. Being discontent can push us to improve, but discouragement can bog us down. I hope this helps!

  3. There is nothing massively special about me except my excellent choice in friends. Which I obviously take full credit for XD And I loved this article. Spot on. (and not just because I was mentioned ahem)

  4. I know that feeling. Thank you muchly for the encouragement :)

  5. Well said!
    I often need a reminder for this sort of thing. Thank you.

  6. This is beautiful. <3 Thanks for posting in this!

  7. Yes! Thank you for the reminder, Jenny.

  8. Your website is really nice and this is a great inspiring article.

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