August 30, 2004

american letters


More thoughts on "How To Be Creative":

23. Worrying about "Commercial vs. Artistic" is a complete waste of time.

You can argue about "the shameful state of American Letters" till the cows come home. They were kvetching about it in 1950, they'll be kvetching about it in 2050.
It's a path well-trodden, and not a place where one is going to come up with many new, earth-shattering insights.

But a lot of people like to dwell on it because it keeps them from having to ever journey into unknown territory. It's safe. It allows you to have strong emotions and opinions without witout any real risk to yourself. Without you having to do any of the actual hard work involved in the making and selling of something you believe in.

To me, it's not about whether Tom Clancy sells truckloads of books or a Nobel Prize Winner sells didly-squat. Those are just ciphers, a distraction. To me, it's about what YOU are going to do with the short time you have left on this earth. Different criteria altogether.

Frankly, how a person nurtures and develeps his or her own "creative sovereignty", with or without the help of the world at large, is in my opinion a much more interesting subject.

(NB: Thanks to the comments for providing the inspiration for this thread. Heh.)

Posted by hugh macleod at August 30, 2004 10:19 AM | TrackBack

so if i'm not a writer, artist, musician, weaver, actor, or creator of some sort, how do i contribute? ive often wondered that. though its not an easy path for anyone to create their sovereignty, as you put it, its even harder for someone like me, who is not any of the above things. not contributing to any sort of distruction is a start, but is creation really the ultimate, given our short time on this earth?

Posted by: miss anthrope at September 2, 2004 10:05 PM

Well, Miss A., only you can answer that, don'tcha think? ;-)

Funny, there seems to be a set of folk that think there's some kind of difinitive rulebook out there about this stuff. There isn't.

Posted by: hugh macleod at September 2, 2004 10:16 PM

I was raving on to a dear friend about what I was really here for and what I contributed and why I was on the earth and who cared anyway, blah blah. She waited and suggested, that for all my creative endeavors and hard work and coaching people, more blah blah, that just maybe all of that was necessary preparation for being the best dad possible for my daughter. Tears still come to my eyes over that one. Think I sort of stopped worrying about it after that.

Posted by: Jim Ewing at October 21, 2004 11:07 PM