This Is Why You Need To Show Up For Your Art

man writing outside
Brad Neathery

Writing means finding the small ounces of beauty in everyday life. It means looking a little closer at the world we encounter on our way to work, school, the grocery store…wherever. Writing forces us to embrace our authentic and raw sense of self. It’s not always easy and it’s not always pretty. Sometimes you’re scraping the back of your mind for the perfect words and come to realize that there are no perfect words. There are only words.

Some words are ugly and difficult to mutter, but that’s how the art of writing lives. It lives within our hearts but it also lives behind our eyes and across our spine. Our words are a reflection of the repetitive thoughts that keep us trudging throughout life. Writing is the release. Writing is our refuge during the storm that’s breaking up our insides. It expresses what falls far beyond the eye. The heart can get heavy from our perfectionist ways. Writing means letting go of those tendencies — letting fate fall onto our fingertips and creating something we never thought could be. It means not giving a damn about the thoughts of others. Writing does not need an ounce of approval from anyone but the artistic self.

It takes over the body as if having all control. It steers us, drives recklessly, and eventually slams on the brakes leaving us sore and tired. It’s a joyful pain. Writing cracks us open and shows what’s buried deep within our shallow frames.

However, it is not shallow at all. It shows us that we’re made of stardust and other parts of this universe and we are the only one holding it captive. It waits for moments to escape and to show its power. Most of the time we fight to keep it tamed which only rips us apart.

It’s hiding underneath the human connection; the rush of a new experience or the fear behind each risk we take. It’s there, waiting for me to release it to the world, yet I keep it locked up so tight it barely breathes. As it’s suffocating under the weight of reality and the “real world.” We unapologetically say “show yourself and what you’re made of” and it crawls out every time. Not always when it wants to but when it does, we’re struck with a fearful awe as we realize what we’re capable of.

But make no mistake. One day you’ll wake up at 3 a.m. on a Tuesday morning and wonder why you can’t breathe or if it will leave you and bury itself within someone else. It will rise from your lungs and escape from your mouth in search of shelter because it couldn’t be trapped any longer.

Whether with a pen or paintbrush, art drives your body into the ground. The artist would allow this experience to occur 1,000 times over if they could because it made them feel something.

It made them feel alive in all of their strengths and weaknesses put together — side by side. Suddenly you’re numb all surroundings mean nothing.

Treat your art like a newborn baby or a delicate flower. It needs sunlight and watering. It needs food and shelter. You were given this notion that the “spark” will always be there. It won’t be. Artistic expression is a muscle, an organ that needs care and attention. The more you ignore it, the heavier your shoulders get — the more your spirit crushes from the pressure of unwritten words or an untouched canvas. TC mark

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