Creating art, no matter who likes it


“The arts are not a way of making a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

This quote by Kurt Vonnegut has been making the rounds on Facebook and it really spoke to me. I love the line, “Write a poem, even a lousy poem.” Writers/artists are always so worried about what others think about their work. But the reward should not be who likes it, but the amount of joy we got out of creating it. There will always be someone who does not like it, and there will always be someone who does (even if that’s just you). Do it anyway.

I sent out a short story to a contest yesterday and I was sweating while I did it. I imagined the judges reading it with scowls and grimaces. “She thinks she’s a writer?” “What the hell is this?” Nightmares. Then I tell myself I’m supposed to be positive and that brings good things, right? At least that’s what all those cute sayings and photos tell me on Facebook. So I picture them saying, “Wow, brilliant writing. Check this out,” as they hand it around the table. (Yes, they are all sitting around a big conference table sipping martinis and reading short stories. It’s my dream, shut up.)

I’ve created all kinds of crappy art while trying to copy Pinterest. Who the hell does all that stuff anyway? But I had fun doing it and it’s all over my office where I can see it, but  everyone else doesn’t have to look at it. It might be brilliant, but more than likely it’s mediocre at best.

We’ll see what happens with the story, but I felt great while writing it. I felt great editing it. I felt uneasy sending it, but once it was gone it was out of my hands. And if, by chance, they don’t like it, that doesn’t take away any of the joy I got while writing it.

 

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2 thoughts on “Creating art, no matter who likes it

  1. I’m so proud of you for entering this contest! It’s scary to open yourself up to judging, but I know even if you don’t win, you’ll be glad of the experience. Then again, this might be a perfect opportunity for you to practice your Voodoo Doll creating skills.

    • Thanks so much. I plan to do more, and it felt really good once it was gone. It was actually the second one I’ve done lately. The first was an essay for a contest and this was a short story. So far, it just feels good to keep the juices flowing and to be writing. I also wrote something short for P’s new site, although it may not be what she needs. Either way, it feels good to be sending things out. I don’t even care if I get rejected, I’m just glad I’m sending stuff out. (Oh, and could you send me that voodoo doll?)

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