|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
WHO AM I RIGHT NOW?
Try Talking With Yourself, Not To Yourself.
Ever get into one of those perfect storms of artistic endeavor? The type of activity where you have more than one project going, you're trying to keep track of submissions and deadlines, you're working a rewrite, or two, simultaneously, and you still need to keep up the networking thing? Oh yeah, then there's the family, where did you leave them this time?
In all of this, it can be difficult to actually know what it is you're creating and what avenues you're really pursuing to promote it. There will come a time when you should consider sitting down and assessing all of this so you can get a firm grip on where you want it all to lead. There is a need, from time to time, to look at your work and ask, is this the direction I intended and is it the one that will take me where I want to go?
Why? Real simple, we're human, and as humans we can easily become creatures of habit. What's a habit? A behavior or activity we do over and over. The difference between this and insanity is, in the creative habit, we become comfortable with the pattern of same activity, same result, and the warm cuddly it brings on. If you're crazy, it becomes same behavior, expectation of different result, leading to frustration and implosion.
If you're really going to stay fresh and vital in the arts, you occasionally have to adopt the pattern of different behavior, different result, rigorous anxiety - until you can measure your satisfaction and the crowd's response. You know, the uncharted territory thing, "Beyond here, there be monsters", and all that. I can hear you asking, isn't there some way to minimize the anxiety thing?
Yup, but you're not going to like it. The only way to lessen the impact of a significant change of direction is to eliminate the second part of the response consideration. Any fundamental change in course is going to throw your audience off for a while, but, if you are to truly make progress in exploring new ground, there are times you just have to have faith the audience will catch up. After all, who are you really doing this for? If everything you do is for "THEM", then I think you might want to consider a job writing ad copy or TV commercials. Real depth and artistic strength lies in how far you plumb your own heart and mind.
Is this that warm snugly place you were visiting before? Uh, if it is then you have the disposition of Sweeney Todd. Real artistic breakthroughs are usually brought on by some of the most uncomfortable introspection we can endure. Why is this? Well, let's face it, truth is rarely neat and color coordinated. As a matter of fact, it's usually far outside the lines and filled with contrasts and clashes of emotion and nervous laughter. But it is also the type of thing that can touch another person, deeply and with such power as to make it unforgettably a part of their own story.
Meanwhile...live, love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis