It may have taken me a long time to realize that writing is an art but I have grown to understand that art is an entity that can be found all around us. I wouldn’t say that I come out to people when they first meet me and address myself as an artist, I’d rather address myself as a writer just to keep things simple and to prevent any unintended questions or comments, but thinking of myself as an artist is empowering. I love the idea that I am creating art through my words, through the madness that erupts from my mind and oozes from my pen across sheets of paper. And like most artists, my work feels far less than perfect.
You may hear that many artists will never be satisfied with what they’ve created because they will constantly view it as a work in progress. What pulls a work in progress to a finished piece anyway? How does one make that judgment? I think back to when I was in high school and I remember my teacher giving us thirty minutes for a free write. She said we could turn in our paper sooner than thirty minutes but we need to make sure we are proud of what we have created and have produced a completed story. I took the full thirty minutes for that free write (which isn’t all that surprising) and ended up putting those pieces of paper with my story into my backpack and took it home.
She said the story had to be complete and we needed to be proud of it, how was I to be proud of a story when I only had thirty minutes to write it? I was so thrown off by this assignment that I never turned it in. Now, this was before I realized I wanted to get into the art of writing and dedicate my college career to learning more about it, if that wasn’t the case I’m sure this would have raised a few red flags about my inability to accept my work as ‘finished’ or to really be one hundred percent happy with what I have produced.
Today I will write essays, short stories, and poems with the intention to write something that will be a representation of myself, an exact copy of what I envision in my mind, and yet I always miss that feeling of complete satisfaction. Don’t get me wrong, I have been proud of some of the pieces I have created; however, I will never be able to read and reread those pieces without a judgmental and revising eye. But this is how I feel all artists are. I doubt a painter is able to look at their piece without scanning it for flaws and for places where they wish they could have used a different color or brushed the paint in another direction.
We are always trying to improve ourselves and I guess coming to terms with the idea that my work will never be perfect will be something I’ll learn to live with. I can do that, right?