I have some disturbing news for you.
Yellow and blue don’t make green. Neither do blue and red make violet, or red and yellow make orange.
But I’ve made green with yellow and blue, you wail. Yes, you probably have, starting with finger paints back in kindergarten. Let’s just say you got lucky.
Here’s a perfectly good blue and a perfectly good yellow, but do you see a green? Maybe a touch of gray-green, but definitely tending more toward the gray side than the green side. That because I started with a blue-violet and a yellow-orange. Do you see the word green in either of those colors? To paraphrase an old blues song, “If you ain’t got it, how you going to keep giving it away?”
Here’s that same yellow-orange, this time paired with a plucky blue-green that’s giving his best shot at making green, but Y-O just can’t cooperate. She doesn’t have it in her. The result is a half green, a little better than what we had before, but still not there.
This is more like it. This time I matched a yellow-green with a blue-green. Since both partners have green to contribute, the middle color just pops.
The point is that no matter how good we are, there is always something that just isn’t in us, in the same way that the color green isn’t in yellow-orange. I would make—I have made—the world’s worst elected officer. It took me several stints in assorted organizations, all of which were qualified disasters, to realize that. Give me a concentrated focus, like putting together 300 goodie bags the day before a convention, and I’m your gal. Elect me to an office and impeachment hovers on the horizon.
I think we do ourselves a disservice when we take on commitments that we know we are going to be lousy at keeping.
This doesn't mean that I'm not in favor of experimentation. Maybe you've never written a short story, so you'd like to try one. That's great. Just like the green in the third photo, you may discover that your talent as a short-story writer just pops.
But if you've already been there, done that, and know that you lack the short-story gene, don't put yourself through misery by volunteering to contribute a short story to an anthology. If you're lousy at Twittering, don't Twitter. If the thought of giving a talk to a group of high school students gives you the collie-wobblies, don't volunteer to talk to your sister's tenth-grade class. Even if she is your sister. She will forgive you.
Here's one more green example:This is part of a sample sheet made by doing multiple pairings of five different yellows and six different blues. Each one is different and each one has a place on the chart. That's the way that we need to be, too. Let's hear it for individual contributions.
Quote for the week:
What you love is as unique to you as your fingerprints. You need to know that because nothing will make you really happy but doing what you love.
~Barbara Sher, author of I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was