Dejà View

No, it’s not a horrible typo–the galleys for the book arrived and I get to see how the book looks all laid out. There are photos still not placed, but the step-by-steps are there in black-and-white.

BookPagesWhat I sent in as a document is now typeset and designed. Reading the words I started to write a year ago can feel like standing in a time machine, or in a tunnel with a strong echo. I am having dejà vue, a feeling of having seen this all before. It looks so different, but it sounds so familiar.

Of course, the inner critic showed up. The book is about him, after all. Who am I to write about ways to confront the inner critic? Who am I to combine writing and art exercises and write a book to coach artists? And who is going to buy a book that is part writing, part mixed media and a large part coaching?

A family member asked to see a copy of Raw Art Journaling when it first came out. I handed it to her, hoping she would like it. She flipped through it, page by page, then handed it back, seriously. “That’s a lot of works in there,” she said. And this one has a lot of words, too.

Most people buy new art technique books and flip through them, back to front, looking for images they like. If they find a few, they buy the book. Will they like this book–with all those words? It’s a coaching book with writing and art exercises. Will this work?

I don’t know. But in reading through the galleys, I found a sentence that rings true, even a year later. “We don’t know if our efforts will work. But we do know that if we don’t get started, nothing at all will happen.”

Everyone has an inner critic. That makes a big potential audience for the book. I have no control over how many people will like it, but as i read through the galleys, changing phrases to make them clearer, smiling as I remember the photo shoot, I am giving it my best shot.

–Quinn McDonald is entertaining her inner critic.

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28 thoughts on “Dejà View

  1. Do I have to tell you how much I love art-books (or articles, for that matter) that combine photos with words – a LOT of words? And I love them especially when it are YOUR words. And we are not the only ones Quinn… hushhush-innercritic-hushhush… (I know how hard he/she can scream sometimes!)

    • With your amazing work on Featuring, I can imagine your inner critic speaks several languages! Yes, there is an audience. It’s just hard to find it in the usual places, and I’m fine with that, too.

  2. Trust us, Quinn, there are lot of us out here who love words. Lots and lots of words. And some pictures, too, but the words are the heart of it. My copy is pre-ordered. Looking forward to 2014 when it will be released!

    Be gone, nasty inner critic, you don’t know what you’re up against!

    • You know and I know that a lot of people buy a book by flipping through it and looking at pictures. I’ve done that myself. It takes an extra step to read some of the pages that have a lot of words and see they are useful. When I read the Amazon.com reviews, many of them say, “This was too low level for me, so I gave it to my 8-year-old niece,” and I think, “Really? You didn’t read a word, or you would have never given such a serious approach to journaling to a child who may not have access to the life experience required.” And I know that will happen again, and I have to be OK with it. I can’t make the picture flippers read it, and I have to wait for understanding or be OK with it if it doesn’t happen.

  3. So what you’re saying is after two tries, you’re still writing books that end up containing (shudder) words?!? And not only that, LOTS of words? Maybe you should take a lesson from the likes of JK Rowling and George RR Martin — they wrote books with TONS of words and just look what happened! (I bet this one has PAGES too. Some people never learn…)

    • A lot of art how-to books don’t have a lot of words. And to this audience lots of words often means “hard” or “don’t want the effort” and it’s a challenge. I’m proud of my publisher for saying, “Let’s do it!” and while I know it’s a risk, I don’t want to do it any other way.

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