My freelance writing endeavors have covered a myriad of projects and currently have me writing two regular feature articles for Golden Isles Magazine.
“By Hand” spotlights an artist in the Golden Isles.
“Noisemakers” spotlights a musician or group from or currently residing in the Golden Isles.
The current “By Hand” feature is about Mandy Thompson. Mandy is someone I call friend. We’ve found that life has woven us in and out of each others paths spawning the past 12 years.
As a writer, I predicted this would be easy – after all, I know her well. I found my prediction false. It was not easier. It was harder.
The reason? For me, the fact that I admire and love this artist as a real life friend, made writing 750 words to document her life plain scary! Thoughts culminated into an anxious knot, “What if I’m not able to deliver a piece that makes her proud?” THEN IT HIT ME that at that moment I was battling perfectionism. Mandy talks about her own battle with perfectionism and says, “When I feel it coming on I do something in direct defiance, I usually rip something, smear something, splatter something or rough-up something and then it comes alive.”
So what did I do right there in that coffee shop? I started a mental bludgeoning session, “Cyle, forget that this has to be 750 words – forget you’re being published – forget people know me around here! Forget it all and TELL THE STORY!” This is when the fear unlocked and I was able to see a theme developing, except that it was only 4 times longer than it needed to be and editing needed a major overhaul. But it was the process I had to take to get to the sweet spot of the story. My version of defying the perfectionism that had me locked.
Mandy believes “art can heal the soul” and sees this philosophy at play in her own life while producing pieces full of textured layers and deep meaning.
Photo by Joe Loehle
*Disclaimer: The noisemakers column has now been outsourced to my trusty editor, the one I married, Shannon Lewis. Yes, the music review thing has always been his forte’. I’m still in the mix but had to give credit where it was due!
Have a PEACE-filled day,