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Posts Tagged ‘ideas’

There is nothing new under the sun. I used to have quarrels with that idea. I could sit in front of a notebook for hours in college, doodling deformed stars because I felt washed up at twenty years old. What could I say that hasn’t already been said? What could I possibly know at this age that meant something?

Some stories really do feel new, and then some just feel like a repeat of something else. You think up an idea one day, and the next, an author has just published a book about an idea that you were going to start. There is a lot of competition for ideas in the arts. But that doesn’t mean that our art, our stories, aren’t important. The endings still make us cry, still give us hope, still remind us something about life or imagination beyond the life we know. You can use the same chords, but change the notes and words on the page to create something new. You can use the same storyline, but change the characters and circumstances and still find a way to have a fresh perspective on it.

Some friends I made in college had lived in the city or a suburb. They talked about how flat Minnesota was; but where I live, the land is covered in hills and bluffs. They hadn’t spent a lot of time on a farm, but my mom used to work on a dairy farm, and I live on a hobby farm with cattle and pigs. I grew up riding four-wheeler and picking bales of hay off the fields. I rode with my dad on tractors and in the back of trucks down gravel roads. That life wouldn’t really be new to anyone in my small hick town, but my perspective would be new to them.

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t criticize artists for creating something that is similar to something else. Just because it may not seem different to you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter to someone else.

So keep writing. Keep changing note progressions and keep painting lines because people can still be amazed. They can still be moved. And that’s all we ever hope for. If it matters to you, it’ll matter to someone else.
Isn’t that a beautiful concept? You matter. Even if you’re not an artist. I’d like to think you could make anything an art if you put your mind to it. When I was in college, all the professors liked to say how they thought their subject was most important. But you and I are both needed in different ways. We both have unique understandings that the other person doesn’t have, as well as understandings the other person can relate to so we don’t feel so alone. We can both leave some kindness and hope in a place the other person isn’t.

There is already an excess of complainers. It’s become the norm. Instead, be a daisy in a field of dandelions. Don’t give up on your art, don’t give up on hope, and don’t forget that your perspective is needed, no matter where you are, no matter who you are.

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You know what sucks? When everyone is against you about something until you succeed…

For example: My grandma’s house and property has been in the family for 12 generations. On this property we have an old barn, the kind with two levels. My dad decides we should fix up the barn and host family gatherings in it since my grandma’s house is getting too small for a family of 65 people with more babies on the way.

Some of my dad’s brothers and sisters thought it would be a waste of money, a waste of time, and probably wouldn’t be worth everything that would be put into it in the end. Even after their complaining, my dad convinced my grandma that we should do it anyway.

After months of buying paint for the outside of the barn, putting in hardwood for the second level, putting new concrete in the bottom level, building a deck to lead up to the second level, putting in a couple fans, putting in new windows, making a bar counter out of a couple old wagon wheels we painted up….we now have a beautiful barn that we have family gatherings in. But now it has also been a success for weddings, ceremonies, receptions, high school reunions, and also a place that other families have wanted to have a family reunion.

After everything that went into the barn, we will soon be making a profit off of it. Now my dad’s siblings boast about the barn, telling everyone how nice it is, all the work that went into it…when some of those people barely ever helped at all.

Some ideas are too big for people to wrap their heads around. No one likes taking risks anymore, especially with money. Yes, a lot of money had to go into the barn to get it to where we wanted it to go. But now months down the line, everyone is in love with it. And all because a couple of people were confident enough to fix up the barn and do what no one else wanted to.

There will be times when people will have faith in your ideas and will follow through with you every step of the way. But there will also be times where you won’t be backed up by  anyone. Sometimes you have to carry out your ideas alone, or at least with very little help. But this does not mean that you shouldn’t do it. The things we want to accomplish in life won’t come with a grain of salt. You will have to risk your money, your time…But won’t it be worth it in the end?

Our barn is beautiful, and no one thought it would turn out as nice as it is. We found some connections with people we knew to get some items cheaper. We got just enough helpers to finish the job, though they were longer hours than what would have been if more people showed up to help. The beginning will be rough, parts of the middle may be rougher, but carry out your ideas, because you may not be fully aware of the awesomeness the final project brings until you start.

Sometimes, some of our ideas aren’t the best and probably shouldn’t be carried out. But I guess that is where you begin to learn what will be worth it and what won’t. Take some risks. Nothing worth having or getting will ever be simple.

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