Reveal as much as you can so you can get yourself to a position where you can reveal more.
This is the real artist’s journey. Revealing to ourselves and others what we love and who we are. With that authentic intention, nobody can take anything away from us. And while everything we create will not be celebrated or even noticed, we will still have built a place of our own from which we can never be dispossessed.
My first mentor comes to mind, who was a retired baseball player turned preacher, teacher and author. He was sixty when we first met, and I was only sixteen. Which meant he had already created enough art in the world to get into a position to trust his own willingness to be true to himself.
It was such an inspiration to me as a young artist hearing him speak and teach and write. There was this genuine watermark running through the background of his life that poured into every word he wrote.
One day, my teenage brain silently hoped, one day you will reveal enough of yourself to have that same kind of connection to your true voice. Too bad it took another few decades to find.
But it’s natural to want to rush that process. Our underdeveloped brains demand authentic creation now! But when we push our voice to unfold faster or more deeply than is natural, we thwart ourselves. Sometimes all we can do is keep creating and let the passage of time have our way with us. We have to trust that our creative life will unfold in good ways if we put the best that we have into it.
And the exciting part is, if we honor that voice and stay true to ourselves as creator, the clearer our channel gets. Not necessarily better, but clearer. That’s far more meaningful.
Quality is overrated. Honesty is what counts. Thinking back to my songs and books from my twenties, they don’t hold a candle to the ones from my thirties. Much bloodier, much truer. And twenty years from now, god willing, I’ll feel the same way about projects from my forties and fifties.
Maybe that’s all art really is. Paying for the privilege to be true to yourself.
LET ME YA THIS…
When was the last time you found yourself wishing that we had opted for authenticity?