The Self-absorption of an Artist’s Soul

The Self-absorption of an Artist’s Soul

“No one can make the same album they made 10 years ago with a straight face: one is you change as a person. To be a true artist, I have to be true to who I am now and write that way. And the second is, these are different times.” – Brad Paisley.

There are two kinds of artists: the kind that breathe and thrive on the response they get from their readers, audience or listeners, and the kind that find peace and soul satisfaction just in the process of creation. To me, the question of which of these is right, is very confusing!

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I suspect that much of what I write – or think of writing –   would have no appeal to a reader. So should I even write it? It will only become another unread, unliked, uncommented post on my blog. But if I have a topic, or a deadline, or readers, I am more motivated to write. There are plenty of helpful books and resources available for those who want to expand their blog readership base. From what I can see, the underlying principle seems to be ‘You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours!” So there are people who regularly read others’ blogs and comment on them, and the authors of these return the favour. At some point, this stops being a favour and becomes a pleasure in itself. You decide which blogs you want to follow – and since most writers are also readers, this does not feel like a task.

I still remember those days in 2006, when a bunch of us would blog everyday and read and comment on each other’s blogs. I was much more regular with writing then, and looked forward to getting ‘feedback’ for my works. Unfortunately, like all social fads, this too died a natural death. I dare say that the quality of my writing has improved since then; but it was the praise and encouragement I got in those days that motivated me to improve my mediocre writing; today, my style and creativity seem to be stagnant. Like an actor who keeps playing the same role week after week. He is doing it well, but keeps hoping for inspiration, for a different role.

I feel a little ashamed about this vulgar craving for an audience – isn’t this ignoble? Perhaps I do not have the soul of a true writer. Or perhaps I am that pathetic tragedy: a cue-giver with the soul of a prima donna.

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3 thoughts on “The Self-absorption of an Artist’s Soul

  1. I think there is a third kind – the kind for who the process doesn’t stop at creation. They can’t breathe easy until they pen their thoughts. And they breathe easier when someone reads and understands their words for precisely what they mean. Only recognition or appreciation isn’t why they need people to read their creations. This kind hope to discover somebody who sees life in similar colors. The satisfaction that gives is priceless.

    And I don’t think there is anything ignoble about wanting people to appreciate you. A plant doesn’t grow without sunshine 🙂

  2. oh dont worry – as long as the writing gives u pleasure, just do it! as for wanting feedback/ acknowledgement whatever – even my 7 yr old (who does NOT yet hva fb account) pains me continuously to see “who commended” on pictures or quotations of hers that i put on my fb page! so its natural to want reaction – i guess the point is, its grt if u get it, but fine still if u don’t! 🙂

    1. “its grt if u get it, but fine still if u don’t!”
      That remark shows maturity. Indeed, what I am trying to achieve. 🙂

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