No matter the medium they’re deciding to dabble in, I can’t help but find it slightly comical every time someone declares that they want to be an artist.
It’s become a subtle way of chasing fame and fortune while still maintaining some element of depth. They can bask in the glory of narcissism and boast proudly under the guise of substance. Which is obviously much more dignified than merely being an instagram model. And I resent that something so innate for me has been reduced to just another career path anyone can choose.
But then I remember… that it isn’t. And even if it was, no one would willingly choose a path that has been proven to pan out tragically almost every single time. Just show me your favorite artist and I’ll show you a calamity.
You see, I don’t just feel compelled to self express, I’m downright tormented by the urge. And it is not fun. Or prestigious. Or even worth it.
The work itself is the easiest part. It’s the suffering I’m obliged to dive head first into that sucks. As a writer, I’ve been given quite the fortunate life. Unlike Bukowski, I never sought hardship and adventure to write about – it was just given to me. But I still need to feel it all. I don’t run from the extreme ends of my emotional spectrum, I go towards them. I embrace adversity, heartache and grief with open arms because an artist is just the sum of their experiences so the more, the merrier.
It’s a subconscious act, of course, because doesn’t my style of writing conflict with my belief in the law of attraction? I feel compelled to write my darkness but doesn’t that act in itself evoke more? However, even when I acknowledge that no writing ever done is worth being at the mercy of my emotions and refuse to participate in this self sabotage any longer, it is still at my very core.
And that’s what I think separates us from the folks just looking for an aristocratic hobby to disguise their narcissism with. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from studying all of the creatives I admire, it’s that we all do it. We refuse to deprive ourselves of any experience, no matter how much it might hurt us. We are compelled by our pain and chase any thrill that may ignite it. We are slaves to confronting ourselves . No one with any common sense would choose this.