Creativity / writing / writing life

Plain Talk

I am an artist–I create stuff. My mind doesn’t work normally; I am always picking up ideas and inspiration from anything and everything.

It has been this way since I was a child: I was alone a lot. I was alone but rarely lonely thanks to my imagination.

This has continued into my adult life.

This has carried on to an age where most people long for stability and security–comfort.

I understand the attraction of those things but for me it’s all about experiences:

Doing new things and going to new places (in part) to document them.

I am an artist, this is what I do. It is my calling.

It is my calling and my job, a profession just like a car mechanic or a computer programmer.

But unlike those trades the odds of making a living off it are very low.

I’ve been trying to do just that since I was a teenager:

Hustling as much as I was creating. Trying to get publishers and agents and readers interested. Writing fawning letters. Seeking acceptance with varying degrees of desperation.

I fretted over making things search engine optimal; wringing my hands over trending hashtags and the importance of building a brand.

I finally faced the stress and anxiety it was causing and said fuck it.

So…here we are–the phrase fuck it fading in the air.

I am an artist, I am not a marketer or a publicist.

I have spent too much time trying to figure out how to sell books that I should have spent on writing and editing them.

I want to say “fuck it” again but I want to share what I do with you.

Sure, some of that is ego, but a lot is this weird understanding I’ve had that whatever art I did was supposed to be shared.

It would also be convenient to make enough to quit doing normal jobs.

I have been trying to make that happen for sixty percent of my life.

Sometimes I have a voice in my head that is cold and firm like a stone at the bottom of a river:

You’ve been trying to make it for how long? Maybe it’s time to accept that it was never meant to be and give up.

Maybe saying “fuck it” was giving into that voice.

Pulling the stone from the river and laying it in a bed of sunlight.

Maybe I did just that but it doesn’t change the truth:

This is what I am. This is what I do and I don’t do enough of it.

I am sharing this because I know you understand.

Maybe you’ve been working at art for a long time and haven’t made a dime off it.

Maybe you keep doing it because it’s part of you.

Through life’s pain and bliss, glory and failures it has been a constant.

One of the reasons you were put on this earth.

 

Thirty years ago I graduated from high school.

Man, it seems like that time passed so quickly.

In thirty years odds are that I will be dead or at least too old to work.

I’m not being morbid, I’m just trying to face reality.

With aging comes a stronger grasp of the passage of time.

In however much time I have there are so many projects to complete.

So many places to visit and document.

So many melodies and fragments of lyrics to work into pieces of music.

So…it is not as simple as saying “fuck it.”

A few weeks ago I stopped hustling, forced myself to stop throwing myself and my work at the world–

But I still understand there are many things I am supposed to share with you.

I simply have no idea how.

And that’s nothing more than plain talk….

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