Writers and artists can spend a lot of time alone. Alone with their thoughts, their dreams, their creativity, their boredom, depression and outright terror. A creative brain should have a big sign hanging on it saying something like "Here there be spiders" or "Abandon hope all ye who enter here".
It's not a place for the squeamish.
The little dogs that dance and wiggle around my studio and occasionally defy the strict housebreaking policy do provide company, but they're not really available for in-depth conversations about the meaning of art, life or Dancing with the Stars. All of that pretty much flies below their caring radar.
They do like music though, especially if I'm doing the singing. My favorite song to sing to them as they gaze at me with their adoring, slightly buggy eyes?
"Anything you can do,
I can do better.
I can do anything
better than you."
The second verse where there's supposed to be a back and forth of "No you can't!" and "Yes I can!" doesn't really work though. It's just me singing, "Yes I can!" and then waiting for a response that never comes. The buggy eyes blink at me and the old man wiener dog sighs and passes gas.
"See?" I tell them. "I CAN do anything better than you." That is of course if "anything" doesn't include using my foot to scratch behind my ear or eating disgusting things off the ground while on a walk.
My hat's off to there, you my furry friends.
Lately my hat's been off to many artists and writers - even more than it usually is. I'm a book hound and love to escape into a good story, whether is true, not true or probably more accurately - a combination of the two. But the last several months I've been studying a writing genre - one that I've never tried before - mostly because I'd wondered whether I was up to it.
Now that last statement is a total lie. I didn't "wonder". I was sure I'd suck at it - suck, suck, suck.
Reading these books (in the genre I'm purposefully not telling you about because it doesn't matter to my point here) has been a reverse of my routine of singing "I can do anything you can do better". As I look at these books, STUDY these books, pore over as many of the ins and outs of these books, I know that it's these writers and artists that are singing that song to ME.
But you know, that's not depressing one bit. It makes me WANT to try more than anything to create something so great. The hard work ahead feels like a wild journey where I'll visit wondrous places and occasionally lose my luggage. It means I'm still learning .
The little dogs can relate to that I think. They're still learning all the time - how to shred socks, beg at the table and find even more disgusting things on the ground to eat. I wish continued learning for everyone else out there too. Learning brings dreams, creativity, and entertains the brain spiders.
Here's my new favorite quote:
Listen to everyone.
Follow no one.
Look for patterns.
Work like Hell.