One of the many great pleasures in maintaining a silly little blog or staying committed to a journal is that sometimes you surprise yourself. You stumble into something you wrote a ways back and it resonates in some fresh way, injects some needed insight into the current situation. I wrote this post more than four years ago after attending a freelancers meet-up in Charlotte. Up until that point, I had yet to actually secure a freelance gig, and I was a month away from being laid off on account of cutbacks resulting from the housing crash. I needed to get back into writing; social media was spurring meet-ups all over the city. Dubious, I figured what-the-hell and went to listen to Jeff Elder, a reporter who wrote – and continues to write – extensively on Facebook. Ultimately, from that meeting, I’d land a semi-regular gig writing copy for a travel magazine. I was struck, then, at how fruitful the evening was – I showed up, met some good folks and an opportunity presented itself. Just like that. The social aspect of “social media” had proved worthwhile in that instance, and, with that in mind, I had been left thinking how important connections are between musician and listener.
Anyway, I’ve been recording an LP for some time now, steering all my creative energies and resources into that. I’m glad I found this. I could use always use some guidance, even if it’s from my younger self:
Sharing art, like social media, requires a real, tangible connection. I can create all the art I want in my private “studio”, alone, rummaging through my mind and extracting a feeling or story that resonates. I can put in the hours writing a song, recording and mixing. But when it stops there, then what’s the point? It needs to be heard, read and experienced, right? The “emotional labor” I’ve been reading so much about lately is fruitless, and frankly it’s a waste of time when I’m unwilling to present the end product. If the worst thing in life is wasted talent, then the worst kind of art sits unseen in closets or [unheard on] hard drives. That’s not being artistic. That’s just a creative way of killing time.