Oh how we stay the same

 

a page from a journal about wanting to be an artist
i want to be an artist circa 1998

Putting your mind to a project and wanting an outcome, a product, a body of work. The risk of failure. Self censorship. Constantly judging the work before it is born. Wanting perfection. Teenage notions of instantly making something good without drafting or slaving. Internal perceptions about what having talent means.

I wrote this 18 years ago. It feels really like this  is just exactly where I am now. I have travelled continents, built a clan, met my soul mate and adventured to the far reaches with him; I have made a career of sorts out of my  music. But this is exactly how I feel right here and now.
This is now about the practice. The process. It doesn’t matter if nobody sees it, so I tell myself, me the one who has always always needed an audience. The failure doesn’t matter either if it comes. Just the doing of it. The making it.

I’ll dig up the video of Bowie taking about making art. He said if you are doing it or altering it for anyone, it’s going to be the worst art you’ve made. He also said if as an artist you feel afraid and your feet aren’t touching the ground, you can’t find stable ground, you are in the place and space to make something new and good.

Like the teenage me that wrote the original post I’m a mass of contradictions. The song lyric in my head today is this Sufjan Stevens bleeder:

What’s left is only bittersweet- for the rest of my life, admitting the best is behind me

Now I’m drunk and afraid and wishing the world would go away- what’s the point of writing songs, if they’ll never even hear you?

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