For The Artist Who Wants To Do Everything
As a creative artist, I have a lot I have put on my plate. It is sitting there, some of it getting cold, the best parts being shoved into my mouth faster than I can swallow. You know like when you eat the delicious components of your salad and leave the lettuce for last? That's my plate right now. I want it all and I will eat it all but I am selective about what I am starting with.That might not be the right path.As an artist, we are like an octopus, our tentacles flying out at everything in our reach trying to grab onto something, anything, everything, to crawl forward. I reached for one thing the past few months. It has been the cheese of my salad: the best part. I have been focusing on my novel and guess what? Novels take a long ass time to write. Stephen King even says to give your first draft room to breathe for a few weeks. I wrote my first draft. I am letting it breathe.So what now?I have done some character work, world building work, taking a sledgehammer to the plot. I perused my first draft to get the idea of the structure I had created. I plan to divide it into chapters and give it a full read after I take a moment away. Yet I haven't actually taken a moment away. I am still laser focused on it because I have told everyone I am doing it so I can't stop now, right?Wrong.I need to take a minute from it so it can settle and my brain needs to move along to another delicious part of my salad. Or maybe even a forkful of lettuce. I have a short story idea I wrote a draft of and never went back. It's been breathing for a while and I want to take another crack at it. My husband and I want to jump start our film production again with a script we've been working on. We also have a podcast idea. I also would like to write other personal essays I have ideas for outside of this blog. I want to be published. I want to write poetry again and write more fairy tales for my Instagram.I want to see more shows, especially new works off Broadway. I want to read the pile (an actual pile) of books in my apartment. I want to learn more about Tarot and keep refreshing my French with my Babbel app. I want to educate myself on herbs and crystals.That's a lot of salad.Here's the thing though: for any one who isn't an artist, this is how our brains work. They are full of sparkly items that we want to hold in our hands and twist them so the light hits them just right. Most artists I know do all of this and more. They are many faceted human beings that sparkle and shine with whatever they turn their focus to. As an artist, you can do everything. It is about commitment, time, paying attention to what is feeding your soul and what isn't.I am frustrated with myself for choosing the biggest chunks out of my plate. I want to spend some time remembering the other goals I have and give them a chance in the sun. By doing so, I am opening up the door to more than one salad. If I work and craft my short story and submit it and it gets published, that's an open door to more people reading my writing, maybe more being published. If I audition and am cast in a new work, I am meeting the creative lifeblood of theater in this great city and getting to build something exciting. That's another door. If I find another platform to share these blogs, write poetry when I can't sleep at night, continue to carry a notebook for those random ideas that hit me on the bus, I might just find myself in a room with no walls or doors that is wide open to explore.For the artist who wants to do everything, just do it. Don't get me wrong. There are projects that require your full attention and commitment and other projects fall aside for that time. I am not giving up on anything. I know myself and I know that is a high possibility. But I didn't come back to the city to give up. I came back to give in and put in the work.I came back to eat the entire salad.