Skip to main content

Fearlessly Honest

There is a pretty common myth out there about being creative and being messed up, in that it seems that we create better art if we are wrecked.  

In a way, the myth isn't a myth at all.  We do seem to create good stuff when we are messed up, when we are flayed open and ruined, when the world is a weight and there's nothing to do but crawl into a bottle, to hide behind chemical curtains until things don't hurt anymore. 

We do create good stuff when were messed up.  You can see it in the wreckage that Hollywood serves up, sacrificed for our entertainment, in the suicides and broken homes and arrests of creators.  Brilliant art made by complete and utter ruin, human beings tortured by talent and psychological disaster. 

But it's not about being smashed; it is about honesty.

The greatest, most heart-wrenching things we read and hear and watch come from someone who is just messed up enough to be honest, who is brave enough to just lay it out there for the whole world to see.  But it doesn't come from the thing, it doesn't come from the ruin.  It is good because the creators weren't afraid to be real, to expose themselves, to be hurt and to say honestly that they were hurt.  It's just that for some of us it seems harder to be honest when we're present in our bodies and our psyche, maybe we need a little chemical courage to be open.         

You don't need to be messed up to be honest, you have to simply be brave.  And with some guts, with a strong backbone and thick skin, with a little faith and an unshakable belief in your content, you don't need to be a wreck to make good stuff, you just have to have the balls to be honest.

It's easier when you get older, I think.  I'm married; I dont have to worry about some potential mate reading something I wrote and thinking I'm a tool.  My wife already knows, without a shadow of a doubt, that I'm a tool.  She married me knowing it, and God bless her heart, she has stuck around this long, I doubt that anything I write is going to change her mind. 

And to be honest, maybe adult truths are less exciting than young truths.  I don't consider myself a wreck, not anymore at least.  I live a reasonably peaceful life and my truth has changed.  My truth now is I mostly don't miss the firey passion that drove me when I was young, that led me to do such harmful and willfully stupid things.  I don't miss the fire, and I definately don't miss the ashes, the guilt and regret and the exhausting uncertainty. 

Sometimes though, I do miss the fearlessness, the easy honesty.

Because the best art comes from fearless artists.

           

Comments

  1. When you're to much of a wreck you can't create. I believe that you not only have to be honest but you have to feel deeply. Put your heart out there when it' hard to do. To care so much that it hurts. I know this is part of what you are talking about. It does bring to mind, Robin Williams. The more I learn of this man the more I like him. I've watched close friends just crushed and saying things liike "Why?". So sad.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congrats on finishing your book and getting your blog started! I'm not a fan of combining writing with altered states, because I don't think we really do our best work that way. We only feel as if it's great work when we're hiding behind the "chemical curtain." Write first and celebrate afterward. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for coming to check out my blog; and for taking time to comment on it. I have two agent queries still pending. I'll let you know how it goes!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

We Would Be a Song

I seem to define my life with soundtracks, playlists that encompass epochs or periods of change or development.  My earliest music was my mother's: Van Halen and Judas Priest, Def Leppard and AC/DC.  I remember a friend of hers explaining to second grade Ralph that the big balls that Angus was singing about were parties, but even then I didn't buy it.  My teen years were heavy on grunge, Nirvana and Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, and that was the first time that music ever felt like it was mine , that I discovered by myself or through the radio, or like minded friends, that was the first time that I took it and owned it and loved it, and even now I'll hear Black Hole Sun or Rooster or Smells Like Teen Spirit on the radio and back I go. In the fifth grade, I moved to Kelso, Washington. I want to say that it was hard, but what I remember mostly from childhood is just this sense of taking every day as it arrived.  What else do we have except our own experiences to measure th

I, Failure.

Listen carefully, because this is important. You are going to fail. There will come a time when you will think it was all for nothing, all of your time and effort, you will think it was a waste. You will look at all you have accomplished, all that you have done, and you will not feel pride at the things you have managed to do in the face of resistance and adversity, but a numb despair that, after everything, this is all you have to show for it, these shabby relics, these nothings. You may consider quitting. Maybe you will quit, you will tell yourself that it isn't worth it, that arriving at the destination is not worth the hardships of the journey. You will try to walk away. You are going to fail, and if you fail, you are then a failure. You will be a failure. Maybe you have had nothing but success up to this point, maybe you begin to believe that the usual hardships have just passed you by, maybe you will begin to think that you are just lucky, or that all the warn

Hello, My Name Is

My high school class lost another member recently, an exceedingly nice guy that had apparently spent most of his life in service to others by way of being a first responder.  His name was Mike. In response to this, someone created a KHS class of '96 group on Facebook, and I joined when I was invited, because why not? People started posting pictures that they had dug out of various closets and photo albums.  Someone posted all the pictures of the senior class from the yearbook, and there I am, in a Minor Threat T-shirt that I happened to be wearing when they were taking pictures of all the kids that didn't get senior pictures.  I never got senior pictures.  They were expensive and we were relatively poor, but that wasn't the reason.  If I really wanted them, my mom would have found a way.  She found a way for pretty much anything we wanted or needed. I haven't posted any pictures, though I have commented a couple of times when I thought it okay. Here's the th