The Over Confidence of the Creative Mind?

Posted: February 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

       by Lisa Scott

Writing is one of the easiest things to try; writing well is another story and an entirely different blog post.  But anyone who wants to write can sit down at a computer or grab a pen and pad and give it a go.  And if you have a natural talent for it, you might not realize how hard writing can be. I’ve always loved writing, and it’s always come easily to me. It’s hard for me to believe there are people who would rather visit the dentist sans Novocain than sit down to pen a story.

I wonder if this leads writers to be overconfident in trying other new endeavors.  If I can imagine it, I can do it!  I can create fantastic worlds with my pen, break hearts and put them back together again with my laptop. So of course I can learn how to weld metal sculptures for my garden.  That can’t be too hard.  (Haven’t tried it yet, but would love to.  How hard could it be?)  Let’s just say I totally understand why Stephanie Plum thought it would be so easy to be a bounty hunter in Janet Evanovich’s best-selling series.  Luckily, my endeavors have been less dangerous than chasing crafty killers and hot cops.

When I heard about people making money selling stock photos, I thought, “I snap a nice photo now and then.  Think of all the residual income I could make.”  (Stock photos are sold for small amounts, but are available to anyone in the world who can download them on a computer.)  Once I upload them for sale, I thought, the work is done and the money will roll in forever.  (Insert laughter here.)

So, I upgraded my camera and took hundreds of photos.  I had a few gems here and there.  However, I don’t know much on the technical side.  Artificats?

Saturation?  Only a few of my photos were accepted by the stock photo site I targeted.  Many were rejected for technical reasons I just didn’t understand or know how to correct.  (This lovely picture of my daughter is my best seller. It’s been downloaded 12 times in 3 years.  Not exactly flying off the shelf.)  So, this endeavor was quickly abandoned.  The learning curve for success was just too high, despite my initial confidence at snapping off a few photos and raking in the bucks.

This same overconfidence led to my certainty that I could build a water garden in my backyard.  By myself.  Easily.  Three months, a sprained wrist, two bouts of poison ivy and many tears later I did it, but it wasn’t as easy as I’d imagined.

First we dismantled an above ground pool that was always cold and dirty.  We never could get it that crystal clear blue.  I’d fallen in love with the koi ponds I’d seen during our honeymoon in Hawaii.  Why not make one of our own?  So I made several trips to the scrap metal yard with the old pool parts in my mini SUV.  Then there were plants to be moved, stones to be transferred and a giant hole to be dug.

Luckily, my brother told me I was a fool when he found me trying to dig a 20x20x2 foot hole and we rented a backhoe to dig it out.  But then there was dirt to be moved, concrete blocks to be laid down for the river and waterfalls.  Tons—literally tons of stones—to be laid out.  Yes, there were days I worked in the rain and nights I cried, wondering what I’d done by starting this project.

But now that it’s complete, it’s one of my proudest accomplishments.  Perhaps overconfidence isn’t always a bad thing. The only cure for this will be if my writing becomes wildly successful some day and I smarten up and hire people to do all these things I assume I can easily do.

Now excuse me while I look for a local welding class.


Lisa Scott is a former TV news anchor who now works as a voice actor and writer.  She writes collections of sweet, funny romantic short stories called Flirts!  (Beach Flirts, Holiday Flirts! and Fairy Tale Flirts!  Look for Wedding Flirts! this spring.)  Her first romance novel, No Foolin’, will be published Fall 2012 by Bell Books. Find her at or her author page on Facebook, Read Lisa Scott.

  1. Beautiful water garden! Fun post. Thanks. (This is Ann Chambers from KB. I wandered over from the Writer’s Cafe.) Great start to a new blog.

    • soupandnuts says:

      Hi Ann, thanks for coming by! I enjoyed Lisa’s post too. What a lovely spot to write…

      • Lisa Scott says:

        Thanks everyone! I thought it would be a great place to write, too, but the sun glare makes it impossible. So, cloudy days maybe. I have a couch on the deck and take quick cat naps there. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t look at it and love. My koi fish have started having babies, so that’s fun too. (I will not mention all the maintenance involved. That’ll take all the fun out of it.)

  2. Lisa, what a beautiful water garden you built! Loved your daughter’s picture, too. And, about welding classes, you probably should try, so far everything else turned out great 🙂

  3. Whenever I say, “How hard can it be?” my family moves out of state. Yeah, I would totally try welding, but even I would never attempt a water garden. Congratulations. It’s absolutely gorgeous.

    • Lisa Scott says:

      Ha! I’m not alone. Maybe that would be a good term for it: “How-hard-can-it-be syndrome.” Sufferers can’t helps themselves. I suspect it may be genetic as well. My daughter clearly seems to be suffering from it, too.

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