Issue No. 661
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Oh, hi friends!

Every day, we’re confronted with finished products created by friends, acquaintances, and strangers who we’re not sure why we’re following but who post stuff so we watch it and read it and let it into our brains anyway.

Their end results — those little polished jewels — can very often be wonderful! 

But I would love a transcript, or a detailed outline, of all the steps it took to get there. The skills they had to refine, the workarounds they had to create, the other responsibilities they probably ignored to get it done and find their finish line.

Because every book, play, short story, song, small business, medium-sized business, online course, stellar speaking engagement, six thousand likes, and six-figure deal is the product of invisible work. Not invisible to the creator, but invisible to you

I don’t say this to scare you away from taking steps and making your own work. Actually, once you realize there are steps, you can start climbing them yourself. 

And I don’t say this so that we can exalt or envy the people who do find a finish line. I’d bet there are unknown makers with work that could rival anything in any museum or bookstore — it’s just not finished, not shared.

I say this because there is no point in comparing your work-in-progress with someone’s end result.

Your work should not stop once you see theirs.

And I say this because maybe the next time you enjoy something that seems like it might’ve taken some effort, perhaps…tell that person? Send them an email or a tweet or leave them a good review. 

It is so hard to create sometimes. What if we all lifted each other up a tiny bit along the way? What if we focused less on the shiny package and more on the depth of someone’s commitment? Perhaps we would each have a greater understanding of what it took to get there — and how we, too, can arrive there next.

This is an actual creature that exists in the world, let’s all just pause to think about that?!

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

“Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought.”

—Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Prize winner In Physiology or Medicine in 1937

(h/t Brass Ringer Lisa Heilman)

I Made a Thing and Here It Is

Last month, my 20-minute musical The Eyes of Vienna had a concert reading at the Bruno Auditorium at Lincoln Center (I always like to get in the full name just so I can say I had a show at Lincoln Center LOL).

I wrote the book and lyrics, and my insanely gifted composer friend Joshua Cerdenia, who I met last year in the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, wrote the music. We created this over a short couple months this summer. It’s about a fictionalized meeting between the painter Hans Makart and Elisabeth, the Empress of Austria. Did I know anything about them or 19th century Vienna before this? Nah. But I learned! Basically, I wanted to write a musical that’s about a woman who refuses to sit down for 20 minutes…

And now after a few weeks of editing and adding subtitles (*wipes sweat from brow*), finally, we have a video!

Here's The Eyes of Vienna

Please watch and share if it interests you. A little lunch break activity? Btw, that’s me over there on the right, reading stage directions and trying not to fear vomit.

We’re continuing to develop this and see where it goes, but I didn’t want to wait to share. SHARE YOUR WORK, MY FRIENDS. JUST DO IT. DON’T BE SCARED. (sorry for shouting)

And a major thank you to everyone who came out to watch this in person, and who continue to support these adventures. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Do you like these daily emails? Please share with a friend!

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Love, Kara

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