I went shopping with my sister this weekend. We hit 8 stores before lunch. It was crazy, hectic, and I loved it. We’re very different when it comes to clothing, but at one store we both saw this top that was…simply stunning. It was designer, and not something we country-type girls had ever really seen in our hometown. Or at least in a store in our town.
This got me to thinking about Project Runway. I’ve mentioned before how much I love this show. I’m not fashionable in any sense, but I’m addicted to the show and have been since the first season. The main reason is that I love to see talented people using their skills to create something concrete. I suppose that’s what I like about Project Runway over American Idol. The singing is cool, I suppose, but you can’t see it. Clothing, on the other hand, is something that comes to life under the hands of designers.
The other part I love about the show is Tim Gunn. I love Tim. I love how calm and concerned he is for the designers under his care. He’s the best part of the show and since I started writing seriously a year ago, I took the advice he handed those designers and used them for my own.
You see, we all need some positive reinforcement, but sometimes having a friend or family member say “It’s good” isn’t enough. Hell, sometimes not even your CP’s constructive criticism and positive reinforcement is enough. For me, that’s where Tim comes into the equation. When I’m looking over what I’ve written and think, “God, this is utter crap.” I imagine him saying, “This is your vision, you know where you want it to go, so make it work!”. Make it work. That’s my mantra thanks to Tim.
And that’s what I do. When I see my story unraveling, I sit back and picture where the problem is. I suppose it’s a bit like designing clothing. I have to find the flaw in the design and fix it. In my case, my story is nothing but a few vague ideas, maybe a few scribbled sentences or phrases on a sticky note and somehow I have to bring it all together. Take those vague musings and compile them into a piece of art. Because that’s what it is. It’s art.
I’ll probably never meet Tim Gunn (although I do hope if I get to attend Nationals next year in NYC, I’ll run into him), but he’s done a lot for me without even knowing. Unless he reads this post. Tim, if you’re reading this, you’ve helped me with my creative process so many times I can’t even count. It’s writing, not fashion design, but hearing the words, “Make it work” in my head gives me energy to keep going, to find the flaw and iron it out.
How about you? Do you have a mentor who doesn’t know you exist? Is there some celebrity whose words you keep locked in your mind when you feel like your work is falling apart?