Headaches and a Bleeding Pen…

January 7, 2005 at 12:24 am (Uncategorized)

I’m in one of those self-doubting artist moments, it would seem. The kind where you feel that nothing you’re doing is good enough, despite evidence to the contrary. I’ve gotten some plays performed in various places and placed in a few competitions, but I still feel like I’m not good enough to “make it” in the business. I know I’m not alone in feeling that, but I’m not entirely sure what the solution is to such problems.

A friend just asked me if I write because it makes me happy, or if I write to please others. I think it’s a little of each. I understand that a balance needs to be achieved, in that I need to write what I enjoy writing for artistic fulfilment, but at the same time, if people aren’t engaged in my writing on some level, then there’s no way I can make a living at this.

And I don’t have a big enough fridge box to live in.

Perhaps I hold myself to a standard that I can’t actually reach. I want my work (plays, music, manifestos, etc) to hit people where it matters. In the heart, right between the eyes, dead center of the brain… I feel like if people don’t have strong reactions to my work, then I’m failing. Is that wrong of me? I suppose in some sense, it keeps me striving for greater achievement, but it also makes for a very depressing and self-defeating existence.

I haven’t been a teenager in years. I lost my license to be angsty!

Perfect example of this ridiculousness: I’m trying to select a play to send to a huge theatre conference called ATHE. I have a number of pieces to choose from, and finally narrowed it down to 7. Instead of just deciding which I liked, I decided I didn’t know WHAT I liked and sent them to several friends (who I now owe time to, most definitely) to see what they thought. Of course the results merely reiterated to me that the arts are extremely subjective, since everyone chose a different play.

So why don’t I think anything I’ve written stands out as “good?” It’s a major obstacle that I really need to overcome. I suppose it’s just the creative version of low self-esteem, but what’s to be done? Stabbing yourself in the brain with a ball point pen only works in cartoons. (I think.)

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