Thursday, November 15, 2012

an apology

so earlier today i read a blog post about artists and social media. in this article the blogger basically said, in a nutshell:

you should be yourself online BUT you should be careful sharing your social and political views because you don't want to alienate people who are different from you.

this kind of struck a chord in me for some reason. and two authors that i respect and enjoy were having an exchange about the article. one of the authors responded by saying it is a form of censorship. so, i decided to throw my 2 cents in. my immediate guttural response was (and this is a direct quote of myself):

"i feel like enjoying art should have nothing to do with the creator's politics let the art speak for itself and understand that the creator is a person allowed to have his/her own opinions."

this started a long thread between the 3 of us. they said that they don't believe an artist's world view can be separate from his/her art. and i agree 100% and i would never even try to separate the two. so i tried to clarify that i really meant...i know people that would never even pick up some art because they disagree with the artist's lifestyle, politics, or worldview.

i gave the example that one of my favorite songwriters is openly gay and i know some people that will not even give her a listen because of that social issue. one author pointed out that on the flip side she won't read a certain man's art because he is so anti-gay.

if you'd like to see that exchange just click on my twitter feed on the right of this post.

*let me add in here that i loved every second of this thread! i'm a BIG sucker for this kind of debate, i've grown exponentially from these kind of discussions throughout life because i continue to think about it for hours, sometimes days.*


i wrote this to apologize to Rae Carson and Tessa Gratton. don't get me wrong, there's really no need for me to apologize, it was a great discussion and no one said ANYTHING mean, harmful, or defensive. but as i continued to think about it i realized, i was a little hypocritical.

i'm not a published author. i don't have a record deal. this means i don't have an agent, manager or publicist influencing what i say online. many of my friends do.

i don't have any of that and yet i censor myself online all the time. i keep opinions, views, even jokes to myself because of my job. or because i know that i have family/friends with different views. honestly i don't do this because i'm afraid people won't like me. mostly i don't want to justify myself. i don't want to have to explain myself.

bottom line...i don't want to be vulnerable.

one of the last tweets i sent in the thread was this:

"personally, i would rather know the "real" artist."

i'm really sorry, ladies. i'm never "fake" online but i'm definitely not always the "real" me either. i do this as a result of wanting the easy road or protection from vulnerability.

you guys have agents and a huge online are much braver than me!

maybe someday we can talk about how much transparency in social media is too much and maybe someday we can do this over drinks!

thanks for making me think!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

guilt vs. sledge hammer

almost a year ago a story started eating its way into my mind. but not just my mind, into my emotions. honestly, at first i thought it was just because so many of my friends are writers. i love being with my writer friends, i love the energy, i love the creativity, and i love how encouraging they are. naturally as a creative person i began to think about their craft. all my life i've created scenarios in my mind. i've created songs. i've had sparks for sitcom ideas. i like to let children help me re-create fairytales. but the thing that sets me apart is i've never written anything beyond the short stories required for creative writing in high school or the poems that stem from my emotional rants, at times.

enter guilt.

i feel guilty that i haven't desired to be a writer since i was really young. i have this sense of guilt/shame that people will try to say i'm simply trying to fit in. or i'm just trying to follow someone else's path.

in this particular situation i think the largest amount of guilt stems from this: the dream i HAVE had since i was a child is to be a full time singer/songwriter. this has translated in my mind to mean that i have to do ONE OR THE OTHER. i have lied to myself by saying that if i give time to writing a novel it will take valuable time away from songwriting. i don't want to be a failure as a songwriter at the expense of dabbling in novel writing. 

you may consider this guilt silly or unnecessary. this type of guilt may be foreign to you. if so, i'm really glad! guilt/shame (which seem to go hand-in-hand) really, really suck.

the story that lives in my head is the telling of this emotion in me. it is the story that gives birth to guilt and shame throughout my life. it's roots are deep.

what will this story look like? will it come in song form? will it come in novel form? will it EVER TAKE FORM?

these are questions i'm asking myself. but this much i know for sure...i'm letting myself off the hook. i'm telling myself that it is ok to create in whatever form it comes to me. i am allowing myself to realize that one creative medium doesn't suck the life from the other, they can feed each other. i'm also allowing myself some time. if writing a song today means i don't write any words, so be it.

i've built myself into a box and honestly...i'm tired of the walls.

someone toss me a sledge hammer.