Friday, March 6, 2009

Art, I want you

We're riddled with angst this week - feeling the chill in our bones, wondering if we've got the goods.

This is apt for someone like me - my first book is coming out in 87 days (uh, no, I'm not's guess. Ahem.), and I am in the throes of writing a second book (coming June 2010 - but again, I'm not counting. Ahem), and I'm looking for the magic. Hoping, when I peer into my bag of literary goodies, I will find it - that truth, that shine, that brilliance. Wondering if it was ever in there in the first place.

But the task is to write, and so write I do. Clacking away, muttering to self and computer, wondering - always wondering - if any of this is of any merit.

I'm comforted by the fact that this deep down doubt is universal in the world of art and artists. Let me introduce you to someone who has poured out this artist's angst in a way I simply adore. Tanya Davis is a Canadian, from Newfoundland (which accounts for her accent - she has a true "Newfie" accent I love [no, I don't sound like that when I speak - I sound exactly like Queen Elizabeth]). Her wonderful accent is the reason I posted the words to the song below. She is a poet, singer, songwriter, and more. I included her website at the bottom of this post in case you want to find out more about this wonderful artist.
I love how she expresses the questions all artists feel, deep in their bones.


I wondered what would be the worth of my words in the world
if i write them and then recite them are they worth being heard
just because i like them does that mean i should mic them
and see what might unfurl

i think of the significance of my opinions here
is it significant to be giving them does anybody care
just because i'm into this does that mean i should live like it
and really do i dare

art, art i want you
art you make it pretty hard not to
and my heart is trying hard here to follow you
but i can't always tell if i ought to

so i pondered the point of my art in this life
if i make it will someone take it and think it's genuine
will they be glad that i did 'cause they got something good out of it
will they leave me and be any more inspired

i question the outcome of the outpouring of myself
if i tell everyone my stories will this keep me healthy and well
will it give me purpose, to this world some sort of service
is it worth it, how can i tell

art, art...

Here are my thoughts about self-doubt: better not to dwell on it. Better to write, and keep writing for purposes that are bigger than me, for reasons I don't need to understand.


Anonymous said...

Wow! It was like she could see into my heart! That's exactly how I feel most days.

Anonymous said...

And to that I say, Amen! Loved the video, loved your closing paragraph. "...writing for a purposes bigger than myself, for reasons I don't need to understand."

That, more than anything, leads me to believe that Harper Lee has been writing all these many years, because how could she not? It's just that her audience has changed, by her own design.

Kathleen Popa said...

My goodness I loved this. Sounds like the NM theme song!

Sharon, I hope you're right about Harper Lee, and I hope she doesn't chuck it all in the burner the day before she dies.

Lori Benton said...

I can't wait to share this post with all my writer friends. Nichole said it, Tanya saw inside my heart! All those questions that hover and dart like bees. Sometimes I can ignore them (they won't bother you if you don't bother them, right? Right?). Sometimes they'll be waved off. Sometimes they get through my layers of netting to sting. I'm learning not to fear them as I steal their honey.

Word verification: croing... the sound my knees and back make when I get out of my chair.

Unknown said...

I'm amazed by Tanya Davis' artistry and ability (courage?) to speak the truth of so many hearts.

I can't imagine chucking all my writing in the burner when I go - I understand - but I can't see myself doing it.

Lori, so happy you are sharing the post with your writer friends. The more inspiration we can toss around among ourselves the better we all are for it.

Patti Hill said...

This girl nails it! Art is something we want and don't want. It's a tough ol' row to hoe. And we don't always know why we're compelled to do what we do, and everyone has an opinion about how well or not that we've done it anyway.


Art is not for the faint of heart!

God tells Joshua as he's about to enter the promised land to be courageous, not suck it up or give it a go. He says, BE courageous.

I feel like Josuha as I'm starting a new writing project. The story is out there, waiting to be discovered and tippy-tapped into my computer. It's all so mystical and plain hard work.

Today, as I create my character Gracie, I will be courageous.

Cough. Sputter.

Laura J. Davis said...

Thank you Bonnie! I loved that and I believe I will share this with my friends as well. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Unknown said...

Laura: Mwah!

Steve G said...

She really does sound like the queen and don't get me going about her wave...

It is nice to be loved. It is nice to be loved for our work. There is a liminal state where we have finished the art and then are waiting for it to be received. There is a pause. Often it gets filled with tasks (marketing, another book, family and friends who may have missed us during edits), but in the quiet moments we enter willingly or not. In my life I have found it to be a most wonderful time of connecting with the Master Artist, the One who gave me the gifts I have, doing a jig while He did. There is a dimension of grace in this in-between stage that allows me to cozy up to my Creator like my 6 year old home with art from school, "Look what I did!" I feel as long as I have His approval it doesn't really matter what everyone else thinks - and it doesn't!

Word Verification - roflumon: Acronym on the web for Rolling On the Floor, Laughing at U MON (thought with a Reggae flavour)

Bonnie Grove said...

Steve: Mwah!

Anonymous said...

I just read an article/interview on Stephen King's 35 years as an author that ties into our discussion this week. Stephen King says, "People look on writers that they like as an irreplaceable resource. I do. Elmore Leonard, every day I wake up and ... don't see his obituary in the paper, I think to myself, 'Great! He's probably working somewhere. He's gonna produce another book, and I'll have another book to read.' Because when he's gone, there's nobody else."

I guess my point to the topic this week is that there are a gazillion mediocre writers out there. The really good ones are few and far between, and it's the really good ones I can't get enough of. And when it comes to Harper Lee, I would simply have liked more.