The Heart of a True Artist

A true artist doesn't do things by halves. You can't be half-hearted about life, love, adventure, or craft to be truly an artist.

Today is my day of rest. The day I spend with my family and my home and put aside all my drivenness. Which is why this blog entry is a thoughtful look at myself as an artist, as a person, as a mother, as a wife. Today is my day for reflection.

I am watching my kids play outside. Three little girls playing with worms and digging in the dirt. Completely lost in their exploration. Every spring they could play for hours just moving dirt from one bucket to another. I wish I had that kind of abandonment. That's what an artist--one who abandons themselves to their expression.

It is likely my lack of abandonment that kept my stories stilted at first. I felt awkward in fulling expressing myself. I would "Tell" instead of "Show" because showing felt too free. Like dancers who are too shy to truly dance. They move like robots and look around to see who might be watching them. But a dancer who gives it all she's got--well, you can see the difference. You can feel the difference.

My husband is my first editor. There are times when he reads and says, "This paragraph doesn't feel right." He doesn't know what is wrong with it or how to fix it, but I go at it again. What do I change? I usually add detail, fill it out. Pour more of myself in it. Again and again and again.

That's abandonment. That's being a true artist.

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