The Right Reasons
Why do artists, be it musicians, entertainers, writers, do what they do? Is it to satisfy their audience? Are they just trying to appease agents, editors, producers, etc? Do they want the approval of their family, friends, peers, co-workers, crit partner? We know it’s not for the pay because you have to “make it” in any art to actually make a living at it. It can’t be for money, or fame, or fortune – those things aren’t guaranteed. I’m sure it’s not because we all love to struggle toward our goal, whether that’s to land an agent or manager, book a gig, meet a producer, sign with a label, sign with a publishing house, or whatever. The rejections, no matter what stage of the game we’re in, are hard. With every no we receive, an ego check is attached.
What’s that leave? What’s the true motivation behind what you do? Passion. Love. Fulfillment. Joy.
We write, perform, sing, dance, create because it make us feel whole. Because it makes us happy despite the treacherous path leading to our objective. Sure, once we have an established audience, an editor or producer, house or label, we do want to create for them but if we didn’t love what we did in the first place, we wouldn’t have an audience.
So, no matter what kind of creator you are, remember the reason you do what you do. Everyday. Remember why you write. Why you sing. Why you entertain. Because, really, that’s what it’s all about. It doesn’t matter what other think or expect of you. Create what your heart/gut leads you create and OWN IT! Have FUN with it! Enjoy it!
Here are a couple examples. I hope these remind you to do what it is you do for the right reasons.
JK Rowling made the jump from middle grade fantasy to a socially driven adult novel. Did it get stellar reviews? No. But she wrote a story that meant something to her. She took a risk. Click if you’d like to read the New York Times review of THE CASUAL VACANCY. Rowling wrote this because she loves what she does and I applaud her for that.
Foo Fighters playing ‘Walk’ at the Lowlands Festival in 2012. They’re sweaty. They’ve already been onstage for how long? And they STILL deliver. Every time I’ve seen them they do this. They give each show everything they’ve got – and then some. They love what they do and it shows. They’re creating, playing, performing for the right reasons.
Cheerleader out, yo!