The Artist in Three Parts

So, You Want to be a Writer? Heh, Heh, Heh...Creative writing seems to be unique. I don’t know of any other profession that has as many support groups. And yet, there is that question that we face, maybe not daily, but sometimes monthly that goes: Do I want to be a writer?

If you’re following the blogs this week, you know that the title question (just the question, I added the “heh, heh” in my mind at the time) was posed to me as polite conversation recently when I was introduced to someone new. And the question itself filled my head with questions of my own:

Is being published the mark of being a writer? Why do artists feel the need to defend their art in order to sound legitimate? And finally today: Why do artists re-choose their professions all the time when non-artists seem to choose once and for all?

Artists, let’s face it, just think differently. In the artist mind, things are rarely set in stone. Everything is fluid. Everything can be changed, enhanced, or started again because life to an artist is a big work-in-progress. This goes for college degrees, relationships, major purchases, travel, and even the very conversations we engage in on a daily basis. I don’t know of any writer who doesn’t come home after a meeting or dinner party and reimagine everyone saying the words they could have said but didn’t. I don’t know of any artist who simply takes the floor upon which we stand for granted. The artists I know absorb every detail around them as if to memorize it all and change it later via paint, chalk, glue, or other media.

Art, this thing that you focus all your energy into, sacrificing sleep and friendships and normalcy, these puzzles that require expanding the confines of your mind to solve, the mental turning of the details until you get them right, these things tend to win, so that, while you know that you won’t let go of one another, you and art, you also know that art gets its way. Always. This is a relationship where you choose each other and reaffirm it daily, but not one where you take turns conceding and winning.

A life in art means daily growth and growing pains, and results in the betterment of the artist. It is a tough road with many exits.

But it’s a road I’ve driven, walked, and sometimes crawled for many years, and personally, I don’t feel a dramatically teenage need to write, or need to express myself through my art [there are hand motions to this: the back of the wrist to the forehead]. At this juncture, I tend to think of writing more like a childhood friend. This is the friend who knows me the best, and even though we may not always get along, when anything major (or even minor) happens in my life, writing is first friend I want to tell all about it. It’s, dare I say, a very charmed existence.

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Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. Her current writing projects, including her daily blog endeavor, #Project365, can be found at JodyBrown.com/writing. 

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