What do you think of this strong statement from playwright Keelay Gipson?
My feeling about an artist of any artistic discipline is if you’re not sacrificing anything, then why bother?
He is responding to this: How do you describe your work overall? What sets your work apart? And he talks about his work being “very personal… and, above all, honest.” You can read the full quotation here.
So, hmm? Am i sacrificing anything in my writing endeavors? First of all, there is great vulnerability just going public with one’s artwork or book or dance or acting or whatever. I mentioned recently that i had asked four readers to critique my manuscript. Exhilaration and adrenaline at being at that point induce me to put my work out there like that. But the next day, i have a feeling of, “Yikes, did i really do that?”
And in addition to the exposure of my from-the-heart-and-soul talent or lack thereof, i give/reflect the particulars of my life in the stories–my shortcomings and failures along with the socially affirmed aspects of success and laudable characteristics. Certainly, i drew heavily upon my life in the writing of Sunday by Sunday (despite the disclaimer at the front, also true–in its way.) In fact, my wasband said he felt like i had written down his life in those books.
Anne Lamott says writers have to be painfully honest to bring forth their best writing. Recognizing the risks and consequences of doing so, she tells this true story as an example of taking the risk and it working out. She had cast a person she knew and found quite obnoxious as a character in a novel. She hoped the person wouldn’t read the book or, if that happened, that she would never encounter the person. Well, Lamott had a fast heart beating moment in the grocery store when that very person approached, said she’d read the book, and said, “You know that one character?” Anne nodded and braced herself. “I just love her!” said the person.
Comments, please. Any thoughts about the sacrifices we make to put ourselves out in the world in meaningful ways? Do you see this with favorite authors or others who share their art publicly?