I’ve been reading Emily Freeman’s blog, Chatting at the Sky and her posts are always insightful and inspiring. Read How to be an Artist, which she published on January 12th 2011.
January 12, 2011
Piano was my major until my sophomore year of college. That was when I quit. Required practice and theory classes and hours upon hours in fluorescent lit rooms with Chopin and Czerny did not bring out the art in me, it nearly made it die. I quit simply because I wanted to love it again. It’s the same reason why I will probably never be a real professional photographer. The art of it doesn’t outweigh the responsibility enough, and so I continue to learn at my own pace and in my own way. I take pictures because it helps me see. And that is all.
For a long time, writing was private for me. Over time and through this blog, writing has become something different. Of all the art there is in the world, writing is the art that brings the most satisfaction as well as the most fear. I can avoid the piano for months at a time. But if I don’t write, there is a distinct possibility I might not exist. I know that isn’t actually true, but that is how it feels.
I write for pleasure, for remembering, for learning, for listening, and for money. I can write in the early morning hours as well as late at night. I squeeze it in ten minutes before it’s time to get the kids and quick while the water boils. Unlike piano or photography, the art of writing outweighs the pressure and expectations. For some people, the art of making music is worth the fluorescent lights with Chopin. For me, the art of writing is worth the fear, the risk, and the isolation.
Because I believe I’ve found the art that is also my worship, it is important to me to use it. To practice it. And to share it. When I played piano, it was always really difficult for me to play for people. I was nervous, embarrassed, and tried to avoid it at all costs. If I would have decided that was the art I wanted to pursue, I think I would have gotten better at sharing it. I would argue that unshared art is still art, but it feels more like a hobby. When you invite others to enter in and receive your creativity, then you are doing something holy, worshipful, and also terrifying. And that is the life of an artist.
Visit Chatting at the Sky and read more of Emily’s delightful and inspiring posts.