Last evening, I had a visit from a friend that I used to work with 35 years ago. Although he is five or so years younger than me, we were kindred spirits then, both having a love for similar types of music and being guitar players. We lost contact after I moved back to Ararat and he moved down to Melbourne, seeking to break into the music scene.
He gave it the serious shot that I never dared to. I admire him greatly for that.
But giving it a serious shot is never enough when you’re in the business of creating. You need to have a fair slice of luck as well. The stars have to align. Right place, right time, right connections. You need all three, plus a fair slice of talent, confidence and ego. Even then, it’s little more than a lottery.
The dice are loaded before you start, so why bother trying?
Creating is part of who we are
I think it was Frank Zappa who once said that every child is an artist until he is told he isn’t.
That’s spot on. We are born to create and yet the system discourages creative pursuits as either silly, self-indulgent or puerile. Is it any wonder that most of us never dare to let people see our creative side. I know, that I spent a considerable portion of my younger years stifling and hiding mine. In doing so. I denied a large part of who I was. But you can’t hide from who you are forever. Sooner or later, the creative process emerges in a variety of ways.
Often it amounts to little more than noodling. Occasionally, though that noodling develops into something else. A couple of notes that had been running around my brain for three decades morphed into a song. Stuff wanders into my subconscious, and percolates away until it just comes out on paper. There’s no telling if other people are going to like it. When it’s ready it comes out. It’s literally trying t catch lightning in a bottle. One day you might get lucky, most of the time you’re going to miss the mark.
My friend and I skated across all of this as two creative types can. We have much in common. Both of us can write reasonably well. We’re still trying to capture that elusive spark that both of us have almost grasped. Neither of us is frustrated. There’s always tomorrow. Maybe that’s the day things will catch fire.
Creating makes life enoyable
Art for art’s sake is a phrase that I can really identify with. In the end creating is a simple act of raging against the dying light. We have something to say and we want to leave our mark. The system does not encourage art for art’s sake. But the need for all of us to express ourselves in one way or another is enduring and eternal.
Find your spark. Express yourself and don’t give a fig about the inevitable criticisms. Make a difference, however small.
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