Today’s writing tip is more about how you think of yourself as a writer. And it’s from a gem of a little book that I recommend to everyone at every stage of their career – Art & Fear – Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles & Ted Orland. Even if you don’t consider yourself filled with fear at the thought of writing I still believe this is a must-read.
From the beginning of the book:
“Art is made by ordinary people. Creatures having only virtues can hardly be imagined making art. It’s difficult to picture the Virgin Mary painting landscapes. Or Batman throwing pots. The flawless creature wouldn’t need to make art. And so, ironically, the ideal artist is scarcely a theoretical figure at all. If art is made by ordinary people, then you’d have to allow that the ideal artist would be an ordinary person too, with the whole usual mixed bag of traits that real human being possess. This is a giant hint about art, because it suggests that our flaws and weaknesses, while often obstacles to getting our work done, are a source of strength as well. Something about making art has to do with overcoming things, giving us a clear opportunity for doing things in ways we have always known we should do them.”
This really speaks to me. And when I remember it, especially “…our flaws and weaknesses, while often obstacles to getting our work done, are a source of strength as well.” I find myself empowered to work on my art.