Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Death of an Artist :'-(

There comes a point in your life when you realise you'll never ride through Paris in a sports car with the warm wind in your hair.

It came to me yesterday, the last day I thought I'd be a poet. I'd been getting poetry out of the library, not to immerse myself in the beauty of verse but to try to find some poems I like to give me some inspiration to create.

Last year it was music. I bought myself a cheap synthesizer to create beautiful music.

Before that it was fiction. I've lost count of the number of short stories and novels I've started but given up on.

Before that it was screenwriting and playwriting. I had the gift. I could create funny, poignant dialogue. Until I realised it wasn't going anywhere.

I've spent too much time from the age of 15, creating stuff that isn't good enough to be heard or read. And you know why it isn't good enough? Yesterday it came to me. I'm just not a creative person.

I have been under the illusion for 35 years that I was gifted. I was born to create. My grandmother had said when I was young, "That boy will be famous one day." My mum reminds me of this now and again and I smile ruefully. All it would have taken was dedication to my art.

But now I realise my lack of dedication, my lack of enthusiasm after the initial spurt of activity is down to a lack of specialness. There is so much mediocre art made in the world and I don't want to add to it. I realise I am crap quite quickly, the critic in me kicks in early and depresses me. Until the next time when I try to create something else.

Well, no more. I will continue to write non-fiction on here. I've got plenty to say about things but I will delude myself no longer. Just because you can write doesn't mean you can write. Not many can.


  1. Piffle. I shall read you no matter the subject, veracity or your opinion thereof. Just 'cos you ain't Dostoevski don't mean that you ain't good.

  2. My experience is similar. My attitude is, carry on or stop, do what you want. As long as you're not deluding yourself about why you do things, do what gives you pleasure, or an outlet. Personally, I think doing it without ego is fine.

    I gave up on poetry 20 years ago. I'd even had some published, but I realised one day that I hated poetry, especially my own. Carried on doing other stuff though. It's like photos. I consciously avoid any attempt at "art" photography, but I still take plenty of snapshots for pleasure. Don't stop unless you hate it.

  3. We watched that David Bailey and Jean Shrimpton in New York last night. Didn't really fancy changing places with him - he came over as a git.

  4. What a sad post! I like reading your stuff.

    I agree that there are many mediocre writers out there. Every time someone who at least thinks about and worries about their ability gives up, the percentage of mediocre writers possessed by their own feelings of entitlement gets even higher.

  5. Vicus - As I get older I get more opinionated so I'll continue to be grumpy on here.

    Rob - Getting things off my chest by writing about them is a good outlet for me. I get pleasure from writing blog posts and appreciating music, books and the visual arts. That's enough I think for a retiree to live out his remaining years. I refuse to take up bowls.

    Rog - A lot of talented people are complete arses who screw up their lives and those of others around them. At least my arse footprint will be light.

  6. Mr LS - I feel I'm decent enough at moaning about things and can do it quite entertainingly but just haven't got it in me to create a fictional work.

  7. I can identify with that - I've no real interest in fiction either. But a lot of poetry is based on truth and things that really happen. I wouldn't rule it out.

  8. I like about one in every hundred poems I read. I can't get enthusiastic about any one poet. Maybe I've got one poem in me!

  9. I have your book on my bookshelf and I'm awaiting volume two.

  10. I'll get around to it one day. It'll sell like hot cakes!

  11. Arabella5:58 PM

    Dedication is strange. Many people who have it take themselves very, very seriously. Have you found this? I've read their blogs and spent a lot of my working life trying to get away from them: insecure actors; angry librarians; po-faced academics; vintage-selling narcissists.

    I always look forward to reading your writing so don't stop pootling with the pen and ink, please.

  12. There's a sketch show there.

    I can't take myself seriously any more, not for five minutes. I'm embarrassed about the times in my life I did.

    I promise I won't stop writing my nonsense.

  13. Take your 'work' seriously - apply yourself - but don't take yourself seriously: there's a (not so) subtle distinction there.

    Write / don't write: that's your choice, b-u-u-u-t:

    I think the only delusion you're suffering from is the delusion that you're *not* a writer.

    The angst you're feeling may be due to the fact you haven't found your voice - your optimal mode of expression yet; you're still searching and it feels painful and disappointing that you can't yet summon that magic at will.

    What you wrote was moving and poignant; it made me read it 3 times in a row; it made me want to comment.

    It made me think you're a writer.

  14. Even if I were time is now an issue now I've started working again. Maybe when I retire...