July 2008

Here’s some inspiration for the days when you say, “oh I can’t do that…” A blind woman is circling ther globe on a motorcycle. And her sister gives a testimony of hope against the odds. Warning, as the radio host says, “Hankies at the ready.”

Well, I have done more research and have come to the conclusion that I am foolish to consider my original course. First off, there are a ton of books already out there on Gold in nearly every permutation imaginable, including at least two recent ones that are very like what I had envisioned—plus they are penned by bona fide experts in the field.

I haven’t given up the idea of writing something, I just don’t know yet what it will be. Meantime, I’ll continue to write little things for my own enjoyment and to become a writer (let alone a BETTER writer). I am ever cognizant that my strength is in the design of books, and that’s what I need to concentrate on. A) Because I love it. B) Because I need to make a living. C) Because I CAN make a living at it — as opposed to writing, which I know with certainty I can’t make a living at.

There is this one idea I have that keeps nagging at me — something creative, not a “book,” but a project that I do want to begin, and I can’t see any reason not to begin. It doesn’t matter whether there is ever a possibility of selling it. It did matter to me, once, but I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I need to do this, and not worry about how it might be judged.

I suspect that the fear of judgement is what holds back would-be artists from pursuing their crafts. Apparently those people who either do not have this fear, or care not about it and blithely go on doing what they do, are the ones that are either lauded for their genius, or ridiculed for their eccentricities.

Only luck and the vagaries of fashion will decide which they may be.

I’ll still reserve Fridays for thinking, writing and working on my own work. Funny, back in the days I was in advertising/corporate communications, I used to attend AIGA meetings occasionally. I remember a presentation on “the work” and “your work,” drawing a distinction between the work you did for pay, and the work you did for yourself — meaning “art.”

As a trained and indoctrinated “commercial artist” I used to snort derisively at the notion that I was an “artist” at all. Yeah, as a kid I liked to draw, and write stories. And yeah, I was always drawn to the creative pursuits rather than the practical arts. But I am a pragmatist too. I got in to doing what I do for the money.

Not that I ever grew rich doing it, far from it. Some people with pricey art school educations with the drive, and the connections, could, did and do get rich in advertising design. (Re: the right schools, and the right social circles, and most importantly the right communities NY, Chicago, San Fran., LA. Not a Jr. College graduate working in the burbs, etc.) But fortunately for my psyche, money has never been my primary motivator. If I can live comfortably within my means and have a modicum of peace of mind — then I am a happy camper. Thus far, I am.

I have rambled on in a round about way about my failure to live up to yet another promise to write “a book.” I am not going to beat myself about it. I am going to look at it as right decision at this time, and a step closer to doing what I need to do.

Oh, yes … I no longer think that doing “your own work” is too highfalutin for a paid *creative whore. In fact it may be the only thing that preserves one’s sanity as an “artist.”

*creative |krēˈātiv| noun a person who is creative, typically in a professional context.
*whore |hôr| verb debase oneself by doing something for unworthy motives, typically to make money : he had never whored after money.