Demos 5 Risks for your Art and Soul
Risk not being perfect or good enough.
Risk admitting that you don’t know.
Risk being honest with yourself.
Risk showing vulnerability.
Risk putting your work out there.
The biggest Risk is not taking any.
I quit you blog, awhile back.
I’m with my film producer friend, John. We talk about career paths, the state of theater, art, film and our lives over the course of the last twenty five years. It is a light and frothy evening over bad martinis and a bottle of wine at an old Los Angeles restaurant called Off-Vine. This is the kind of place in desperate need of a renovation as there are dried flowers on the wall and white table linens straight out of 1992. It is so charming in its lack of Los Angeles slickness. I have nostalgic admiration for it. We talk about how it would be great to work together and discuss a new project about gay men of our generation and potential writers.
“Why don’t you write it?”, John asks.
“I’m not a writer, John.” I retort very defensively.
“What do you mean? Of course you are. Don’t you write every day?”
“Sort of. If you count my morning pages, my word of the day, and my daily gratitude”.
“And your blog...”
“What?”, I ask incredulously. “My blog? You read my blog?!”
“Well, yeah.”, he says. "I found it very inspiring, honest, raw, real and relatable. I don’t know why you stopped”.
“I didn’t think I was a writer?”
My friend, Julia Cameron says that a mistake young artists make is “to show their work too early, and to the wrong ears”. I did exactly that with a project I was working on. The work was not ready, and I got some negative feedback. I stopped writing and ended that part of my creativity completely.
In actuality I have been writing all my life. My mother says, “You wouldn’t believe the stories that came out of you. We always knew you were an artist and an old soul”. One of my proudest moments in school was when my teacher, Mrs. Fasting read my descriptive essay about the Baker, Montana diner that I loved as a child out loud to the class.
“Wait. Didn’t you have something published in the Advocate? Good one, Nick”, John says with a sarcastic grin.
“Okay!,” I respond. “I get it. I’ll start again”.
I’m back in the writing saddle. Oh, sometimes I wish I could quit you, blog. But just like Jake and Heath, I don't really want to quit either.