Ask any writer, composer, or visual artist, and they will tell you the same thing–“I create for me. An audience of one.” While this is true, as far as it goes, it’s also mostly bullshit. We create to be heard. Seen. But, most of all, we create to be felt.
I’ve been a composer for most of my life—50 of the last 62+ years, to be precise—and a writer of stories for as long as I can remember, and all I’ve ever wanted for my art is to touch someone emotionally. Touch their heart. Make them feel something. It’s what all creators want, regardless of what they say out loud.
In this, I have failed.
Jesus, I can’t even get my own family to read my books or give one shit about the music I write. My work touches me… and no one else. That’s sobering. And telling. The artists who claim to create only for themselves do so out of the same realization I’ve come to. No one else cares.
I know enough about both my crafts to know I don’t suck at either, but simply not sucking isn’t enough. That bar’s too low for art, don’t you think?
When I’m done with this world, all I’ve ever wanted was to leave a footprint or two, or perhaps help someone feel something they’ve never felt before. But after so long on this road, I look back and can’t see a single footprint I’ve left behind, so I think it’s time I set all this aside. I’ve got a couple of projects I’ll finish soon, because I hate leaving things undone, but after that? I’m done. I’ll spend my time as a good worker-bee and doing the pointless things I still enjoy.
Next steps… I’ll donate my inventory of books to Copperfield’s or whatever store wants them. If no one wants them, I have a firepit on my patio that needs fuel. I hear book burning is all the rage here in the South these days. I think I should burn all the manuscripts, too—music included. Maybe with everything gone, with all that behind me, I can find a way to be happy again.
I’m turning off comments because I’m not looking for affirmation. Just needed to vent and offer and update. Besides, I can count on one hand the number of people who’d care enough to try to talk me down, and that’s depressing all by itself.
See ya around…