Rainy days always bring out the pensive side in me, and right now it's overcast and gray outside. Perfect inspiration for putting some thoughts to the Web, right?
I had an interesting artistic exchange with a writer this past week. Since I don't wish for this blog to call attention to one's artistic experiences over another, or to point fingers or name names, everyone in this post shall remain nameless.
That being said, let's call this writer "Artist A." Artist A is a talented writer. I know. I read his book. And his book became a movie. Not just ANY movie...a very successful one. And yet, he claims he will never write another book as long as he lives.
Perhaps such a strong "never" statement shouldn't have affected me. I mean, to each his own, right? But it did. I couldn't help but wonder why he had such a strong reaction to something he had always wanted to do--writing a book.
After some more conversation and reading some of his past blogs, I learned that he had some very unfortunate experiences with his lit agent, with his publisher, with a lot of things along the way. Yes, this happens. Sometimes, certain things are out of our control.
But aren't some things *within* our control? I suppose this was what nagged and poked at me after I read about his experiences. Artist A continued to mention various things he wished others would have done to make things better. Some of these things, Artist A could have done on his own. Perhaps he hadn't expected this reality, but he really could have capitalized on the success of the story. From what I understand, he is now writing for different mediums but refuses to ever write another book.
Sad, in a word.
Now let's take Artist B. Artist B has been in the artistic industry for decades, and has struggled with every piece of art that gets put out into the world. And yet, Artist B continues to keep going. If one book or film doesn't do well, Artist B pumps up the resolve and goes back to creating something new.
This Artist A versus Artist B philosophy is not new. It's a matter of realizing what IS in our control to make a better experience out of the entire situation. Yes, Artist A didn't get a fair deal. But his book was also made into a well-received movie, something many authors would give their left arm for. Artist B has had tough experiences, but has kept going despite the many roadblocks.
It's interesting to ponder. And I hope I am more like the latter. Because while things are tough and challenging, I don't want to ever give up on my dream. Some things are in our control, and it's up to us to recognize these things and embrace them. You can't control everything, but control what you can.
How about anyone else? Ever given up on a long venture? Ever change your mind and go after something else?