I jest. Or do I? 😉
I remember a couple years ago after watching the Pursuit of Happyness I said to myself, well of course he was successful… he wasn’t trying to be a painter!
Let’s face it us right-brained people have our work cut out for us in this left-brained world. Supposed I fancied myself a lawyer… (wait a minute, that’s right I am (or will be in a year at any rate) and my goal in life was to be a High Court Judge. Better yet, let me aim a bit higher. Let’s say my goal in life was to be an Appeal Court Judge. I’d work hard, take my time, spend lots of sleepless nights perfecting my judgments, read all the new cases on each point, familiarize myself with each new law that’s been passed by government, I’d be attentive, I’d read all the up to date journal articles and legal opinions and I’d be sure to hand down good quality judgments. In the left-brained world if I put in the work to be the cream… in due course (and I strongly believe this) I would float to the top of the barrel of milk.
We all know this is not the way things work in the topsy-curvy, maddening, enticing right brained world. Success requires a more eclectic mix than hard work and sacrifice. I mean re-read what I’ve said about a lawyer trying to make it up the ranks to become an Appeal Court Judge. Sounds like hard work right? The average writer serious about ever seeing their name in print or actually being able to write full time does the same thing (Granted that most persons see this as being a tad obsessive about a hobby). They work hard, they hone their writing skills, they take classes, they read books on writing, they read books on anything to sift out techniques, they read magazines to keep up with the traditional publishing world or the self-publushing world. On and on it goes. However, as I’ve said before the mix of success in writing (and undoubtedly in every creative field) is more eclectic than hard work and sacrifice. At risk of sounding absolutely batty… sometimes it takes the stars aligning. I feel like it’s often 1/10 talent, 2/10 hard work, .5/10 Muse Cooperation, .5/10 Divine Intervention and 6/10 luck. Yes, I went there :)… luck! Doubt me? I think Edgar Allan Poe and Vincent van Gogh might be firmly in my corner about the necessity sometimes for stars to twinkle in a creative person’s favour. Poe hoped to become a successful writer during his life but that’s really not the way it worked out. He did eventually become famous though… after he died. When persons think of artists who were under appreciated in their lifetime van Gogh tops the list. There was no real interest in his art until after his suicide. Hey… there was even an episode of Dr. Who where the Doctor brought van Gogh to 2010 so he could see that eventually, though long after his death his talent was recognized. I admit. I got a little teary there. It made me wish that I had a Tardis. I’d definitely bring Poe back… or Emily Dickinson… or Bach!! Especially Bach. I’d love Bach to see how popular is he is now. I’m almost frantic at the excitement I feel even dreaming about making this happen. Completely Unrelated Side Note: As I write this line my Muse uncurled herself from sleep and pretty much yells at me… “So make it happen.” I think I’ve got an idea for my next short story 🙂
The fact is most creative people will never make enough out of their art to do it full time. Most will always be a writer/(insert the day job here), actress/(insert the day job here) or a singer / songwriter / (insert the day job here).
But the thing with creativity is that it holds you by the throat and will not let you go. Your art becomes the air you breathe, the blood through your veins… in short it doesn’t matter who reads or sees we must keep writing, acting, singing, painting and the like. It must be the Universe’s way or offering some sort of recompense for the situation we’ve found ourselves in. Then again… is anything ever as rewarding or as tingly feeling as spending hours in a day creating something? For me nothing beats watching a blank computer screen fill up with letters, words, sentences and paragraphs of a story crafted from my imagination. To be honest… even through all the struggles with my Muse and the bitching about possibly not being able to do this full time… I wouldn’t trade this right-brained world for a thing!