Letters of Mass Construction

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My Eyes Bleed Words


I know that I have written about this before but I don’t think people have any kind of understanding what it takes to make a living in the world of art. I don’t care if your art of choice is painting, sculpting, music, acting, or the one I am trying to do, writing. People become glamoured by the success they see in magazines or on TV. They don’t think about the multitude of people out there just struggling to get by.

I am lucky in a way. I can hold a day job and still do what I love. It isn’t ideal. I often dream of the day where my only responsibility is to produce the written word. I know that the reality is that I have a huge uphill fight to make a living at writing. It doesn’t change the fact that I can work in my chosen art form while holding down a day job that I love.

If you are a musician, forget about it. There is almost no way to hold any kind of day job while still trying to make a living at music. It doesn’t matter if you play an instrument or sing. You have to make music. You have to go on the road to promote your music. You can’t hold any kind of meaningful job if you are constantly touring.

This is where the disconnect happens for a lot of people. Touring for big huge successful musicians is way different then those who are struggling to find their way through the pitfalls of the industry. You are not touring in huge venues. You play small locations and hope that you get a big enough crowd to pay for your gas, buy you dinner, make some money selling merchandise.

It is a grind. A grind that often wears out some very talented people. People who are searching for a way to share their passion with everyone. People who just want to make art because it resonates so deep in their body they can’t ignore it.

Don’t kid yourself either these are some extremely talented people. My wife and I went to a concert last night in Chico. The venue was a small art house and they sold tickets through flyers and word of mouth. They got a decent crowd to see Kim Boekbinder and Mark Growden. Both of these artists are incredible. The music was stunning and powerful. My wife and I sat enthralled and grateful that we got to spend a few hours watching people who just wanted to share their joy.

Then they have to pack it up and move onto the next town and the town after that. Hope they don’t get sick (there are no paid sick days for them). Hope they sell enough tickets. Hope that people like their music enough that they keep buying new songs.

I have so much admiration for these musical gypsies that I came to a realization while driving home last night that one of the reasons I really want to make it as a writer is so that I can have a big enough audience that maybe I can help out other artists.

I feel really strongly about that sentiment. I have struggled for years to get myself to a place that I was doing what I love everyday and loving doing it. No more worry about am I good enough. No more hearing all the people telling me I can’t do it.

The turning point for me came this year and in the interest of full disclosure it was Kim Boekbinder who helped get me there. She decided that she was going to produce a song a day, for a month, and post it. I waited everyday to listen to her new song. About half way through her project I started thinking about how naked, raw, and beautiful the emotions of the songs were. It wasn’t about producing a number one hit. It was about producing art and getting better at it.

I decided if she could write a song everyday I could write a blog everyday, so I did. After I started getting my writing feet under me I decided the hell with a blog, I am writing a novel. I wrote that novel and am now half way through the next one. Art inspired art and I couldn’t be more grateful because I have never been happier with my writing.

So I beg all of you out there to go and find art that inspires you and support it. It doesn’t matter what kind, just find something you love. If you have an artist hiding inside you, let it out. Remember that the artists who have made it and are wildly successful – those people are the rare ones. The rest of us are the majority. Just struggling to bring a little art into the world. My eyes bleed words for you.

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2 Responses to “My Eyes Bleed Words”

  1. sheerchaos says:

    >High Freakin Five!Stephanie Meyer's art inspired me to start writing my book.

  2. anna banana says:

    >Hey, I followed your link from the comments on Amanda Palmer's blog. The last paragraph of this post rings with my soul. I found art that inspires me through Amanda Palmer, and when I did my heart cracked open and the artist I'd kept hidden for so long started to come out. THIS is why I'm happy to donate to artists out there. Especially the ones who ask, like AFP and Kim Boekbinder.The artist in me salutes the artist in you. Namaste.

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