From an early point in my teen years, I have struggled with acne prone skin. I even have some lovely scarring from when my acne was at its worst. While going through different courses of medications and treatments in an attempt to make the unsightly bumps vanish, I’d like to think that I have become somewhat of an expert at covering them up, along with the scarring. With this expertise has come a lot of foundation experimentation and a lot of wasted $$$.
This is what foundation has taught me about writing.
1.You come across the horrendous, the mediocre and the wonderful.
Foundation: I have come across the foundations that have made me orange, cakey or even a few that have caused my skin to breakout further. I have come across the ones that are okay, but either don’t have the coverage I hoped for or they aren’t the right color. Then, finally, the wonderful day came when I found a foundation that was the perfect color, had superb coverage and didn’t make me look like a clown. That day was great, but it took a lot of bad and mediocre foundations to get there.
Lesson: You have a lot of ideas, but not all of them are going to be good. You often have to sift through a lot of bad ideas before you find a really good one. (To get some good and bad ideas, I highly recommend PiBoIdMo in November)
This can also be applied to your manuscripts. Chances are you aren’t going to find the perfect foundation right off the bat and chances are you aren’t going to write a publishable story right away. Don’t worry, not all is lost. Just as I have learned what foundations work for me from trial and error, you will learn what works in your writing the same way.
2.Doing reasearch and reading reviews before you buy pays off.
Foundation: When you are looking for foundation or any other beauty product, reading reviews from consumers pays off. (I personally really like Makeup Alley.) Initially, it takes some time, but in the long run it will save you money and cut back the time you spend searching through foundations at the store.
Lesson: Take the time to research books that are similar to your work. This will give you an idea about what is already out there and if/how your story stands out.
Also, just as it is a waste of money and time to blindly pick a foundation, it is the same regarding blindly sending your work out to agents and editors. By taking the time to research what types of books they take on, if they have any current needs, any other preferences etc., you are saving yourself time and money.
3.The same foundation will not work for everyone.
Foundation: A foundation that has heavy coverage that is meant for acne prone skin will probably look dreadfully flaky on someone with dry skin. On the other hand, a foundation meant for dry skin, won’t have holding power on oily skin.
Lesson: For work that is already published, your work won’t be right for everyone. This means not everyone will like it. Try not to concentrate on the bad reviews and look at all the good ones. Yes, easier said than done.
For WIPs, pay attention to what people say when they criticize your work and don’t take it personally. It’s hard to rip apart your baby, but it’s necessary. It’s like if you were wearing a mediocre foundation and the critic is trying to point you in the direction of an amazing foundation. Wouldn’t you want the amazing foundation instead? By listening to what critics are saying, you can create your best work and have a better chance of getting published. However, it is important to know what advice to take and what to leave. Sometimes you may be wearing a mediocre foundation and the critic is pointing you toward another mediocre foundation or even worst, a horrendous one. Just as it is your skin, it is your name on your finished work. Make sure you’re proud of what you have created.
What has your foundation taught you?
End Note: The wonderful foundation I found was La Roche Posay Corrective Fluid. It’s a little pricy (30$), but imo, it’s worth every penny!