in commentary, general

Parents on Art Advice

She said that you have to be willing to disappoint other people in order to be a writer.

Source: How Do You Write a Book?

What an interesting thought! And so true, not just for writing but for all art, all hobbies, all creativity; heck, even spirituality and meditation. All of these are deeply personal. The satisfaction from these is almost never monetary, by which you could justify the time spent on the activity to the world, but more importantly your friends and family. Instead, the satisfaction is deeply personal too. You’ll be called selfish and greedy. “Your time and your energy”, instead of being devoted to this abstract thing, “should be devoted to people around you”, they’ll say. You’re going to ignore children and thus force your partner to take up more work. You’re going to eat into their personal time or into shared personal time, which is even rarer for parents.

But it’s worth it. In the end, you get a book, a piece of art, a more settled personality, or none of these. But the journey is important, no matter who it may disappoint.

I changed the title from “How do You Write a Book?” to “Parents on Art Advice” simply because there’s so much more that this advice applies to. Maybe it shouldn’t be “Art” but “Life”, because Life is all about balancing other people’s disappointments with your own needs.

What do you think?


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. But the journey is important, no matter who it may disappoint.

    I believe this to be true, too. I know that once I looked beyond the idea of making money from my blog, I felt like I’d found myself. And many people still don’t get why I do what I do there, but I’ve learned to politely acknowledge their disappointment in who I am while continuing to happily be me.