“Artists are people who are not at all interested in the facts—only in the truth. You get the facts from outside. The truth you get from inside.” --Ursula K. LeGuin

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Dear Writer

Bookish daydreams

You know how it feels, don’t you, to sit down at the computer/typewriter and have a Muse sitting beside you whispering in your ear?

You know that it isn’t only you who are doing the work.

You know that there are unseen forces at work. So you can’t really take credit for it. (Perhaps when the writing stinks, the voice is saying, “Ah ha,” you weren’t listening.” )

You were trying to please the masses, your audience, your customer.

That’s not your job—unless that’s what you want to do—we do need to make a buck from time to time.

The greater calling, however, is to do the work—your work, what your are meant to do.

No more sharpening pencils, washing dishes, shingling the roof, sit your butt down on the chair, place your fingers on the keys, and listen.

Now type.

You’ll write crap—that’s okay, you have an ongoing relationship with the Muse, the angel, the still small voice. But you are persistent. You are doing the work.

You are an artist.

Oh, there are hacks out there, and you’ll get pulled into that trap from time to time—you’ll try to please the audience, to follow an established route, to listen to the gurus, without remembering that you have one sitting on our shoulder.

And then you’ll stop. You’ll listen, “Do the work you were meant to do.”

Write it down/ paint it/write the music/ create/cure cancer/build the next great gizmo. Do what you were sent here to do.