By Forrest Clancy
Got The Idea?
So about ten days ago, Marc offered me a place at SCA over the phone and I sort of screamed. It was a small scream, the one you make when someone pinches your bum a little too hard. And then he sent me the list of work I needed to complete before the first day, and I groaned, the way you do when someone wakes you up.
Yesterday, after a lot of deliberation, I pitched my “This Is Me” idea to a friend. Given the time constraints and my passions, I thought it best if I made a huge feast and had all of my closest friends over for dinner. Food and company are startlingly important to me.
“Yeah, no, that sounds lovely but, um, I think I’m busy.”
Busy? I thought to myself, who is ever busy on Sunday evening? In truth, I had expected something more along the lines of “Oh my, that sounds incredible, Forrest. You’re the best. You really are. Now show me your feet so I can kiss them.” I’m giving this guy a free dinner. With alcohol! Even a thanks for that would suffice.
I didn’t know what to say. The truth is, I am sticking with the dinner party, but now I must deal with my worry that he, and my other guests, will laugh at me. I am worried that it’s a bad idea. That I have made the wrong choice.
But how should I know when I have a good idea? Self critique has proven impossible. Last week I drew up a list of four or five ideas that I thought I could run with. “I’ll narrow it down by the end of the day,” I told myself. By the end of the day, the list still stood. Next, I said,“I’ll give each idea a start, and I’ll see which one feels right.” But each time I was indifferent. Finally, my circumstances made the decision for me.
I am racked with fear that I will embarrass myself in making and in showing my work. I’m hoping that as I dig deeper, and as time bears down upon me, my interest will grow. As will the quality of my work. I am hoping that if my “This is Me” is shown on the first day, the crowd will stand on their feet and roar with approval. People will hug me and use words like “Pencil” and “Grand Prix” when they describe my final cut. They will use words like “Michelin” when they see the food I cooked.
They will not. Instead, I will watch from the back row, hands over my eyes, and think about the other four ideas that I struck from my list. God they could have been so much better than this.