The belief has been long held that you shouldn’t force art. This notion has extended so far into our psyches that Vice Chair at IBM Academy of Tech Susan Puglia has been quoted “You can’t force creativity, problem solving, and invention. It’s a process that starts from within you.”
In recent years there has been an outcrying against this idea. Chuck Wendig has been a propoent that art is, and must, be forced. He contends that inspiration should not be equated to a light bulb going off over your head, just as a single match does not make a bonfire. You mush throw it into the wilds and help it grow.
Are either of these opinions right?
Fear sets in with the notion “Should I force my art? Will it be any good?” Many of you may have turned to this post in the hopes that I can guide you over that terrifying blank screen. That post will come at a later date.
For now I would like to focus on letting go.
I am writing to a different artist, The perfectionist, in the hopes today that, even though your creative work will never be “finished”, you must let it find a life of its own.
The potter may spend hours on a single corner. The painter endlessly dabbing on those finishing touches. The writer will rewrite the same sentence over and over again looking for the perfect word combination.
Each in the pursuit of artistic perfection. Some can even be plagued long into the night trying to get the threads all wrappd up on an artistic endeavor. It is those of you that I am talking to.
Many say that to solve this problem you must tuck your art into a drawer and then come back to it after an extended period of time. Ludwig van Beethoven offers some good adive in the direction this blog has taken. “Don’t just practice your art, but force your way into its secrets.”
The easiest way that I have found to get my child to tell me something is not to berate her until she breaks and hands over the goods. (Unless she’s in trouble, but that’s not really relevent here.) In order to get my daughter to trust me with her secrets I must let her be herself. As she plays with, either her friends or her toys/books, ideas pop into her head. She then has to run over to me and tell me exactly what she was thinking or feeling.
She does like to interrupt everything, but taking the time to listen I have collected quite a bit of knowledge about my daughter.
Equating this to art would be the potter walking around with his creation, or the painter letting others look. The writer would have to let someone else take a peek at what their writing. People will form their opinions and in response the art will have found a voice to work through. Your art will begin to show you things about itself. Things that you as the artist were blind to becasue you had become focused on detailed perfection.
Release your art to its life just as it has released you to go and continue living yours. The greatest gift you can give your art would be to give it siblings.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. If you would like more words of inspiration try Daily Woodchips of Wisdoms by Frederick and Joy Wood.