The Artist's Abandonment of Self

Children dance without any thought to how silly they may look. They play with utter abandonment. I have been thinking about this lately as I consider how desperate to succeed I once felt. In facing lay offs, lack of employment, foreclosure, and failure, I turned to an old dream, hoping it would solve all my problems.

It didn't.

I have put hours into my writing, into studying how to write, in sharing my stories with others, in promoting and marketing myself, and I have earned nothing, not even a dollar in exchange for the time put into it. But over the last years, something has changed in me. My goals and desires have changed. I don't write because I want the money--oh, money would be nice--but now I write because I must. I have abandoned myself to the art of expression. I no longer seek book buyers; instead, I yearn for readers just as a child wants playmates.

It's a freeing change. I still wish I didn't have to work two jobs--software testing by day, writing by night--for it has taken its toll on me. But the anxious desperation is falling away, and in its place is passion and peace.


  1. To be true, we can only write for ourselves. Then push it out of the nest and hope that someone else likes our kids as much as we do.

    I agree, it is hard. Keeping it up alongside a paying job. And you've forgotten another job, a very important one in there: parent. That's a full-time one as well, and exhausting, and never finished.

    So here's to dancing. With our kids.

    All the best.

  2. Jonathan, you've said it better than I could with much fewer words. Thanks for the comment.

  3. I'm still in that desperate place. I try to give the book a rest, but it will not let me go. Sigh.

  4. For me, it is a constant battle to avoid that place of desperation. The trick, I think, is to focus on having fun.


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