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Three Stages of a Big Important Project

Slipping Glimpses

By Everything Else

I was supposed to be working on my upcoming big important project. I’d gotten my chores done, there were no appointments on my calendar, the coffee was made — nothing was in the way of knuckling down and having a really productive day. Maybe even a breakthrough to the next stage sort of day.

Then — I remembered my friend Tracy Deaton’s Kindle book “Guaranteed Great Music!” — which I’d only just finally downloaded last night. Since it’s a memoir about his time working at Musicworks in Boise in the early 80’s, and my big important project relates to music in Boise, I thought I’d just have a cup of coffee, read a little, and then get to work.

Well, there went the day.


You see for Christmas I received a little turntable so I can listen to my records, which I have continued to haul around in 37 years of moves, and Tracy mentioned so many of them — basically the soundtrack of my life from 1977 to 1981 — Providence “Ever Sense the Dawn”, Fleetwood Mac “Tusk,” and the Beach Boys to name a very few. I had to listen to them all.

He didn’t mention Patty Smith, but she was often my refuge during that time. I don’t remember making a lot of friends at Driscoll Hall listening to “Horses” (“it was as if someone had spread butter on all the fine points of the stars cuz when he looked up they started to slip”) and “Radio Ethiopia.” I do remember not really caring.


Tracy’s book is very personal and talks about a lot of people I know (Hey, A.!), knew and haven’t thought about in years (Lee!), as well as a few I will never forget and often wonder about (if you have any idea what ever became of Thom W. and his viola Panache I’d love to know).

Thanks Tracy! I feel a little wrung out from my day slipping in and out of 36 – 37 year old memories, and I didn’t actually do anything productive, but we’ll see what percolates up through.

Sometimes looking back makes it easier to see where we’re headed, to say nothing of where we are. Boise is not the same place it was back then — now it’s a Great City Guaranteed!

The Sun’ll Come Up?

By Everything Else, Holidaze, Treefort Tarps

I actually woke up this morning with that stupid Annie song “The Sun’ll Come Up Tomorrow” playing in my head. Annoying orphan chorus and all. “Bet your bottom dollar that tomorroooow there’ll be suuuun!”

At 6:30 in Boise in January I have my doubts,


but it’s the metaphorical sun I’m still waiting for anyway so I decided to go ahead and get out of bed.

Yep. I’m still stuck on “Imposter.” But while I keep hacking away at the underbrush trying to clear the path for the “Great Big” idea which will get me to “Whew!” I’m paying more attention to the finer details of this process. That’s right, I’m witnessing my own agony so I can share it with you. Aren’t you glad?!

Here’s my first observation. I totally underrated how much work the first stage is when you have the “good little” idea and you have to just do it because you might have five or seven ideas that all require the time it takes to get out of your head and onto the paper — otherwise they don’t count.

Talk is crap. You have to do the work.

What? You wanted more insight than that? Well I want my lazy-ass muse to stop rolling her eyes at me and help me take down the Christmas decorations so I can go to my studio and start playing with my “good little” ideas so they can grow into a “Great Big” idea and I can finally get to “Whew!”



Now somebody bring me some coffee!


Here’s my second observation: it’s time to stop talking, go get my own cup of coffee and get to work!

Stuck on “Imposter”

By Everything Else, Treefort Tarps

I’m realizing that for every new art project of a certain size — i.e. big and important — there are three stages which apparently we MUST to go through in order for the project to ultimately be a real success. You can’t go around them, you can’t go over them, you can’t go under them…you MUST go through them.

The first stage is what I think of as the “good little idea” stage. You know essentially what you want to achieve with your finished artwork and you have an idea. It’s a “good little” idea. Not a great idea. Not a big idea. But it’s a place to start and — this is important — you MUST START. That’s really the hardest part of this stage, just getting started. If you can get past all the busy work you’re putting in the way of beginning this project and just do it you’ll get through this stage with flying colors.


So you start with your good little idea. You do the work. You get the idea out of your head and onto the paper, or the canvas, or expressed in whatever medium you have chosen. At this point you might even really like what you see. You might want to kiss yourself and that’s fine, enjoy the moment, but then get ready for the next stage. It’s coming in fast and it’s coming in mean. It’s going to be HELL.


The second stage is what I think of as the “you are an IMPOSTER” stage. If you are an artist who has completed big important art projects you know exactly what I’m talking about…”Who do you think you’re kidding? You’re not an artist! You have definitely bitten off more than you can chew this time Missy! In fact this time you’re the one who’s going to get eaten — Alive! Buahahahahaha!”


I hate the second stage. The second stage SUCKS. Big time. In fact, I am currently sitting in the middle of a second stage moment right now as I write this post. The only reason I haven’t packed away my paint brushes forever, invested in full body ink, and joined a wandering circus with only a newly adopted pitbull as my traveling companion is because I know, as day follows night, there WILL be a stage three.


The third stage is what I think of as simply “Whew!” It’s when it all comes together and you actually have a Great, Big Idea, and you ARE an artist, you’re NOT an imposter and your muse isn’t a barren bitch with a sadistic sense of humor after all. All is well. All is well. And all will be well. Until next time.

Wish me luck. It’s lonely in the second stage.