To those who struggle with discipline in an artistic field, there is an issue of hearing what you want to hear. When you hear that your work is good, that you should keep it up, that you should concentrate and develop it… There is for you a temptation to throw caution to the wind and leave the rest behind and be that artist you can be, and that alone.
Of course, those who have talent must occasionally get confirmation and often deserve it, but it can also run amok. I don’t speak of the pitfalls of the inflated ego, where one’s hubris outstrips their talents and they believe everything they touch is gold. Rather, I speak of the simple capacity for attending to that which may allow a person to succeed in continuing to produce. The capacity for the discipline to deliberately make commitments and deliberately stick to them – despite the muse.
After writing the posts I have this month, I have realized a great deal of the difficulties I have always faced, but this recognition has yet to change anything for me. I have not made commitments deliberately. I have not deliberately made good on commitments. The indication from others that I must keep writing has only made me succumb to what is easiest and most fulfilling: writing. Under the presumption that someday I shall be “saved” and I will be happy I continued to write.
How can it feel simultaneously that this is a deal with the devil and a matter of following my higher calling?
Truth is, I can’t ignore the muse. I must commit time to both writing and what is practical. It is finding a structure in which both work together that is the most difficult, because the muse refuses to abide by my schedule.