What I want to say here is something I think anyone who makes art needs to sit back and realize what you are doing is AMAZING. Really, it is.
Sometimes we only really appreciate the finished product - the book on the shelf, the completed full length CD of music, the painting hanging on the wall. And, of course, that is what we are all are working towards - that end goal. To make it as perfect as we can at that point in time and marvel at what we created.
WE NEED TO DO THIS MORE.
I completed the draft of my first novel and after about a half hour, I was already thinking of all the other things I had to work on to get it ready for agents in the future for when its polished or what else I might be able to tweak on it while my critique partners give it a read.
And I sat there in the midst of all that planning and thought, "Wait a minute, am I even grasping the fact that I completed a novel? That it is in a readable start to finish form??"
**COMMENCE DANCE SEQUENCE**
I don't want to be bragging about my own accomplishments, but WHOA, I think this is a great feat for me. A magnificent accomplishment. Something I doubted many times that I was even capable of doing. Something that was harder than I ever imagined it being when I first started. And somehow I stuck to it and completed it.
That feeling is amazing. All those long hours and hard work and doubt and fear and hope and joy and sadness and love that went into these pages is all me and I worked damn hard for it.
We don't sit in that feeling long enough. I think we are so stuck on hitting that next goal, getting to that next step, working towards the more perfect version of our work that we don't realize the amazing things we are doing little by little every day. Making a story in our heads come to life using thousands of words - it's absolutely mind boggling.
Think about going to a rock concert - you hear that one hour show but do you know how many hours they spent coming up with the songs, tweaking those songs, changing the key on the songs, finalizing the songs, planning the set list, practicing, practicing, practicing those songs. All for an hour of your enjoyment. The same with a musician in an orchestra or a painter painting or a poet mixing and re-arranging every line until it rings true.
I'm not saying that art forms are the only "works" out there that we should appreciate but there is something utterly INSANE and totally CAPTIVATING about people who put so much time into their art. Months, years even...and people can gobble it up in a few minutes to a few hours and be done with it.
Finishing this first draft, I want to take a step back and just grasp what I have accomplished. It is something big, it is something I did for me, but it is something I want to share with others. And even if it only stays with them for a few hours, this feeling, this goal I had and persevered towards for months - will stay with me forever.
So today I just want to encourage all of you out there who have ever completed a piece of art, realize what you have accomplished is special and truly awesome. And those still working towards that goal, know that the time and effort is worth it. It REALLY is.