Being an artist is hard. I don’t have to tell you that. There is so much rejection and so many unexpected tiny cuts to your confidence and determination. It seems like successes are so rare and fleeting.
Yet, when you gather a group of other artists around you — and it doesn’t even have to be in your own art — you have strength in numbers. Screenwriters, poets, musicians, visual artists and audio artists are all fighting the good fight. When they are your friends though… you can rejoice in the battles they win as well. There have been so many days when I have tried to convince myself that the work is pointless. Then I stumble on new work by friends, an essay that guts me, a song that takes my breath away, a cartoon that I can’t stop turning over in my mind and I’m inspired again. You all know who you are. I can barely articulate how grateful I am that your work keeps me going.
I am even more grateful when a friend in another genre collaborates with my work and the resulting collision takes me somewhere new and at a breathless pace. Friendship should be a journey, but I love it best when its an adventure.
So I’m not ashamed to say that I wept when I listened to the surprise recording Xe Sands sent me last night. She is like listening to my subconscious only without the filters. When Xe reads my writing, I find myself holding my breath, hearing not just what I wrote, but what I meant and didn’t quite admit to myself.
I thought it would be so much easier to write once I got home and when it wasn’t I thought it would be easier when I settled and when it wasn’t then maybe when I had some work and didn’t have to worry as much about money and when it still wasn’t easier I had to admit that it just doesn’t get any easier.
I’m barely writing, but Xe reminded me that every little bit counts if you make it count. Listen to her read, I think you’ll understand what I’m saying. I’m suddenly not just grateful to be home, but for all of you.