Art is hard. Let’s not forget that. Writing is art. Let’s not forget that either.
I am lucky enough to have found someone who I enjoy sharing a part of my life. That wonderful lady is the very talented artist, Leah St Clair. Recently we talked about how difficult it is to make art while still living a full, real job, some-what social, and very academic, life. I couldn’t help but think how everything we said applied to art can also be said of writing.
Writing is hard. It’s hard to sit down and create something from nothing using only the vocabulary you know from the languages you speak. It’s not easy. Then you have to edit and turn what you spewed out of your mind into something that a person can read and understand. Then you have to edit again, and actually make it a good story.
…but it’s not over yet…
After you finish something that your proud of you have to show the world. The whole world, like strangers. After you show the whole world you have to hide in a corner and cry because of what the world said. As you cry your skin starts to grow. This whole process is repeated until your skin is thick enough that tears no longer form. When that happens you will leave that corner forever.
This will take a while.
Upon completion you’ll have a body of work, thick skin, and hopefully some readers. You won’t have any money. You haven’t gotten paid yet. In fact, that sad truth is you may never get paid, and that’s what it all comes down to.
Art is important. If you’re an artist than this is obvious. If you’re not an artist than what the hell are you doing with your life? Making money? Pfft, that shit’s weak. Want to do something strong? Leave a piece of you for the world to remember you by and create something from nothing. It’s not easy, and you will have to work at a job you hopefully don’t hate while you do it, and you will meet a whole lot of fake people along the way who just want to use you for your ideas, and you will face a whole lot of criticism for your bleeding heart emotions that took you forever to summon the courage for to put on paper, and you will meet a whole lot of people who tell you that you’re a fool for creating art and you’re much better off as a doctor or on wall street, and you may not always understand why you’re right and they’re wrong…
…but when that feeling comes…go throughout your house and remove all the art. Take every painting off the wall, every photo, every book from the bookshelf and place it in a room and close the door. Now walk through your house again holding as much money as you can carry and see how you feel about art now.