What happens to art when it stops being for the artist? While the world loves a good crowd pleaser, we don’t really make room in our hearts for pretenders. I started writing – I don’t even know how many years ago. It was just, what I did.
“Oh that girl? Yeah, she writes on her blog and stuff”
When did I stop taking pride in being referred to that way?
When you’re good(well, subjectively speaking) at something, it is just expected that you make something out of it. You’re good at kicking things? you’re expected to try and eventually become a professional football player. You can stab something and watch it bleed without passing out? Maybe go study to be a surgeon then. In all seriousness, that’s what talent is: a conjuror of expectations. Both to the world and oneself. When these expectations are not satisfied, what IS talent, but a crippling burden? Do you know what’s worse than feeling talentless? It is knowing you’re good, but not good enough. Having flown so high, only to drop before you could taste the stars.
So I ended up studying to be an engineer. I learnt all those mathematical principles. I’ve got to put them to use somewhere, right? When you can’t find the solution to a complicated problem, you don’t always have to move forward. You can take a step back, move in a different direction, compare outcomes and go with the better alternative. Heard of backtracking, bitches? Sorry. I get defensive when the nerd comes out. So lets all take step back together. 1-2- cha cha- huh?
What if you don’t “fail”?. What if, you’re really good at something and make it in that scene? What if I’d become the greatest blogger in the world? Would that have guaranteed satisfaction? Would have I kept writing and loved every second of it? Wait a minute, success never had anything to do with why I started writing in the first place. I wrote because I loved to read; because writing is the best experience I’ve had at feeling; writing was breathing. And I’m guessing all the psychos who started stabbing when they were kids loved doing it later in life even if they weren’t doing it in operation theatres. This “expected outcome” was NEVER part of the experience. People who develop these so-called “talents”, most often do not really set out to do so. They were just doing what they loved, and had a natural competence for it or the desire to try.
I’m here, months, maybe years later, with my complete mental calibre and sense of humour intact, telling you to go do a bit of what you love, for you. Life’s really short and unpredictable as recent worldly events have reminded me. Regardless of how far you’ve come, regardless of what people think, make some art for the artist. Because who’s going to enjoy your work more than it’s ideal target audience? You.
-The Obsessive Writer.