Sunday, January 31, 2010

First Looks Can Be Deceiving


So I've needed to paint my house for about eight months now. Last April I fixed all the holes in the walls, but it's taken me this long to pick a paint color. Originally I had a medium brown with a burgundy feature wall, which I really like. But I thought since we have to paint anyway let's try something different.

I picked out European White, a green feature wall and a desert gray for downstairs. Last week I started painting. I put the first coat on downstairs and nearly cried. I thought it looked awful. It was way more green than I thought it was going to be. My husband, bless his heart, thought it looked great and would look even better when we got it all done.

I left the downstairs and started upstairs. I got out the European White and started painting the wall. After my first brush strokes, I put the roller down and all I could think was "What Have I Done." It was so bright and white. I was used to the darker browns. I hated it. Then my friend came over and said, "I love the green, but this white. I'm not too sure about that." I was heart broken.

My husband, once again, thought it would look good, so I continued to paint. All Thursday night and all day Friday I painted. I have to say that after a couple of coats the European White is growing on me. It just needed more layers.

I think you all know where I'm going with this. Lots of times when I write that first draft I stop and bang my head on my desk and think, "What have I done.", but I continue on. I put more layers on and fix the streaks. In the end when all of the layers are done and all the mistakes are fixed I hope to have a nice wall and a new looking house.

29 comments:

Kasie West said...

Ah, the Queen of metaphors still reigns. :) Great analogy. I really am that way. My first draft I'll often bang my head through and then I start adding the layers and when I read through it again, I'm like, oh hey, this isn't half-bad.

And btw, I hate painting. Good luck finishing up. :)

Tina Lynn said...

Maybe the fumes are getting to me, because my current WIP just keeps looking worse and worse. I think it's time for me to simply change the colors dramatically. *holds up styrofoam cup of Dr. Pepper* Here's to you LOVING the new color scheme. *slurps*

Kristi Faith said...

Oh so true! I do the same thing with my WIP through first and second drafts. :0)

Janna Qualman said...

That's a wonderful analogy! And I admire you for tackling the painting. It's one of my least favorite things to do! But, like writing, sometimes we just have to.

Robyn Campbell said...

My head hurts I've banged it so darn much. "Ouch" But I keep keepin' on. That's what it's all about. =) Super post Patti. I'm glad to know others go through this too.

Jonathon Arntson said...

Great point. According to your analogy, I have thirty different houses, most of them in various phases of construction, about five of them are being painted and floored, oh, and three are up for sale!

Mim said...

This is a great analogy. It's true that you've got to finish the whole project with revisions before you make any lasting judgements!

Katie Ganshert said...

Me too! I do a lot of head-banging too! It sure does take a long time to get a pretty wall. :)

Jody Hedlund said...

Great analogy, Patti! Hopefully, each layer will add more beauty to our stories. But if not, then we can always head to the pain shop again! And BTW, I can totally relate with paint colors. They always look different on the wall depending on the amount of light in each room, don't they?

Patti said...

Kasie: I'm so glad to be the queen of something. I hate painting as well, that's why I've put it off for 8 months.

Tina: Sometimes that happens. Hope you get the right combination.

kristi: I can't even remember how many drafts I'm at.

Patti said...

Janna: And sometimes, just like writing, once you get going it's kind of fun because you see what your creating.

Robyn: I have a headache most days because of all the head banging.

Jonathan: That's a lot of renovating.

Patti said...

Mim: Sometimes it's hard to see what the end project will look like with just one layer.

Katie: It does take a long time to get a pretty wall. At least it does for me.

Jody: Good thing for change and that pesky light that makes everything look different.

Heidi Willis said...

That is SO true!! I'm at the headbanging, "what the heck have I done" stage of writing.

I've been there in painting too.

I once painted my kitchen yellow. I thought it would be pretty. It ended up looking like a lemon threw up in there. The great thing about painting? You can always just paint over if you really hate it. :)

(I'm sure there's an analogy you could pull out of that for writing, too. )

Heather Sunseri said...

Love this analogy. The layers are what makes the story so much stronger.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Oh, I know that feeling all too well! I pray that when it's finished you'll love it!

I'm going to be thinking about this analogy all day. Great post!

Melissa said...

Oh, this is gold! I love this analogy. How do you come up with these?

Patti said...

Heidi: Yellow is such a hard color. the analogy can be that you can always start over.

Kristen: I really hope so too

Melissa: I'm the queen of analogies haven't you heard. lol :-)

Carolyn V. said...

Oh Patti, I am going through that what have I done right now with my revisions. Ack! Your post couldn't have come at a better time.

Susan R. Mills said...

Great analogy! Best of luck with your writing and your painting.

Melissa said...

By the way, I left an award for you at my blog:)

T. Anne said...

What a great analogy, I can certainly relate to. Just like paint colors, my first drafts always grow on me too. Thank goodness, or there would be no second draft!

Jessica said...

Woohoo! Great analogy Patti. :-) I hope you end up loving your colors.

Southpaw said...

I've been doing a lot of headbanging lately. I try to wait until it's done. ;)

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Layers make all the difference. It sounds like your house will be beautiful. :)

Jessie Oliveros said...

Oh, I hate house projects. Bleh. Good luck. I hope your husband isn't a liar.

Natalie said...

Excellent analogy. It's amazing how much better something can look after a few more weeks of development.

Joanne said...

They say, too, that when you switch to a new paint color to give yourself time to adjust, for it to grow on you. Just like with that manuscript, once it's done, it's good to set it aside for awhile, give it time, before we go back for revisions. Great analogy!

Dara said...

I'm definitely still at the "what have I done" head banging phase, so this post resonates with me. :P

Candice said...

Even my amazingly talented interior designer aunt says the only way to know if you'll like a paint color is to paint a wall. It's all about trial and error. Sometimes I feel that way about a scene too. I just have to write it and try it on for a while. It will either grow on me or I'll hate it and redo it.