Fear is one of the greatest threats to an artist. Whether he or she is a painter, writer, musician, songwriter, novelist, or performer, the fear is real and can cripple the talent and skill – maybe even the life-purpose – of the artist.
I looked back over my blog and was struck with my lax commitment to writing. January 2015. August 2015. It’s May 2016 today – what have I done? For months I haven’t sat to truly write. There are so many ideas, concepts, and characters taking up residence in my mind because they haven’t found their home on the page. It’s getting cluttered.
This past month has been a time of reflection and introspection. Where am I in life? What am I doing with my life? Why am I not pursuing those special things in my life? Am I where I need to be? Am I doing what I need to be doing?
While I’m not about to spill it all here for you to see and read, I can say that fear has played a major factor. And it’s ridiculous. If you believe that we all exist for each other, then the talents, skills, gifts, and abilities of each person must also exist to benefit each one another.
Someone needs you. Someone needs your art. Your painting, your music, your words, your performance. You. Everyone has a story and you are a part of that. Embrace yourself and be true to you.
Hide not your talents, they for use were made, What’s a sundial in the shade? – BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Poor Richard’s Almanac
If a man has a talent and cannot use it, he has failed. If he has a talent and uses only half of it, he has partly failed. If he has a talent and learns somehow to use the whole of it, he has gloriously succeeded, and won a satisfaction and a triumph few men ever know. – THOMAS WOLFE, The Web and the Rock
The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it. – JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, attributed, The Little Book of Gratitude Quotes
The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work. – EMILE ZOLA, Works of Emile Zola
Well-matured and well-disciplined talent is always sure of a market, provided it exerts itself; but it must not cower at home and expect to be sought for. – WASHINGTON IRVING, letter to Pierre Paris Irving, December 7, 1824
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me.” – ERMA BOMBECK, attributed, Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much