I am not sure I can even right a second part to this series. It will either become a marketing seminar or get very self-helpy. Perhaps those more simple, practical skills are exactly what an artist needs to learn in order to advance.
After all, once we do actually get a product that we have creatively birthed, we have to start raising the child. As fun as it is to go directly back to conceiving again there is the new reality, the new life, the life of this living child.
The reality is that most artists neglect their children, their creative children. They love to conceive and give birth but are simply overwhelmed and even paralyzed by the idea of seeing this infant creation into adulthood. They don’t know that world.
And generally the requirements of that world are simple, straight-forward, and somewhat demanding. Like playing with a newborn, the only task is to be present, to attend to the simple needs, and to be focused on its wants.
There is also something invigorating about really celebrating the work that has already been created. So many times the artist under-value the work in order to stay in creative mode. For a time that may be necessary but certainly not forever.
At some point rehearsing that song, practicing that speech, learning that narrative, takes us directly into the value of what is created. In figuring out how to sell it we are convincing ourselves as well. We sell it to us before anyone else.
It is in this process that the artist emerges into a performer. Certainly not all writers are performers. Some writers will remain ghost-writers forever and stay happily in the background. They will write really well with no intention otherwise.
But even for that song or screen writer to get to the point where they are paid for their work and able to do it for a living, they have clearly promoted themselves to the point of near performance. They became an act to get that recognition.
Jesus’ teachings would not be on our tongues today if he had not gone through the same process. Think of Gandhi, etc, people who translated their life into the public realm because their thoughts were“too expensive to ever want to keep” (Bono).
At some point the journey from private to public becomes enormous. Really think of Jesus for a moment. He never wrote down anything himself, at least that we have record of. He spoke. He taught out loud the hard fought insights he had learned.
Imagine if the sermon on the mount would have remained his own personal reflection. No, he worked, he polished, he succinctly brought these beautiful sayings into one place. The recording part would come naturally with such wisdom.
He crafted his content. He focused on what was most important. He listened well and eventually taught the ways of the Kingdom. He lived them too, yes. But for his professional life as a Rabbi he also taught them really, really well.