Last night I had the privilege of hanging out over a couple of beers with an old friend I hadn’t seen in quite some time. It was a very enjoyable evening of conversations about TV and movies and getting older and whatever other crap people talk about over beer.
However, it was our discussion about being an artist that really hit me as being more than a couple of goofballs attempting to amuse each other. He and I had, in the past, attempting collaborating on a number of projects, a couple of which we had actually completed, although never did anything with, a number more never really got past the design phase. We had moved on from those attempts and both focused more on our own projects, he as an actor and musician, me as a writer.
Yet, although we both took very different paths when our roads split, through our conversation I found that we had both ended up in the same approximate destination. We had found ourselves stuck in a place of not actually doing what we enjoyed about creating art, specifically, the creating part. He, as a musician, found himself focused too heavily on booking gigs and whatnot, and not actually writing new music, I, as regular readers are well aware, had become too heavily focused on trying to find an agent, and spending way too much time not writing.
We both had become too focused on the idea of making our respective arts our careers that we had lost the part we actually loved about it.
Neither of our paths had ended there. We both had already moved on from that place of selling and realized that we had lost our love, both making the decision to switch our focus from salesmen, back to artists.
I needed this conversation. Although I’ve had many discussions with many different types of artists over the years about very similar things, I’ve never spoken with someone who has had so close to exactly the same experience as me, especially not someone whose work I respect so highly.
This discussion helped me realize even further that my decision to focus on the creation aspect and forget about trying to find love within the publishing industry is the right one for me. I’ll obviously continue to be hopeful that something magical will happen, of course, but I just want to write. I miss writing. The days where I could find the time and energy to sit down and crank out 5000 words were almost mystical. I want that, even if I have to continue to work my normal day job to have it.
Money is great and all, but my playtime was being invaded by dreams of it. No more.