Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Good enough

I've always been kind of an artsy person. From early childhood I loved crafts, drawing, singing, music, writing, even dancing. But as I got older, I had to pick a direction, and it was pretty hard since I loved several arts.

I guess I eventually "picked" writing, with the intention of continuing to enjoy singing and drawing as a hobby. There were a lot of reasons for this--most notably, all those fields are notoriously competitive and low-paying unless you're one of a tiny number of elite, and writing involved the type of competition I could do from home without being expected to perform, travel much, or engage directly with other people as part of the job.

I've achieved a little success with writing. Getting an agent is nothing to sneeze at. Getting two agents is nothing to sneeze at twice. A book selling is great, even though it wasn't to a publisher in the Big Five and it wasn't fiction like I always wanted. I've sold several short stories. I'm good enough at this to be paid. And I'll probably keep going to the point that I do sell one of my fiction books. Maybe it'll be huge, and maybe it won't. Either way, that's what I'm doing.

But the other stuff? I drew all the time when I was a kid. When I was in high school I thought I was going to have a singing career (and I had reason to believe that, considering I consistently got into audition-only honor choirs, even in college). But now, I'm only pursuing writing as a career, and I'm content with doing those other two things as hobbies. I do an awful lot of both of them, too. I record a new karaoke song just about every week. I draw two webcomics (one weekly, one monthly) and have been doing a bunch of fan art lately.

And it's pretty consistent that people who aren't in those fields themselves tell me I should do those things professionally. I know enough about both to just kinda laugh at that--I don't think I'd even want to even if I could--but I'm not sure how to handle people's compliments without sounding like I'm being politely humble or maybe insulting the person who's trying to compliment me by suggesting they don't know what they're talking about. I mean, they kinda don't, I guess? They don't know how much better "real" singers and artists are than me, and they don't know how the ins and outs of that field aren't appealing to me. But it's hard to accept a compliment without kinda insulting myself with something like "It's really not that good." Which sounds empty, even though I truly believe it.

I know what I've put into writing, and I know that I'm probably not willing to put that into drawing or singing. You get what you pay for, so to speak. I haven't done the hours. And I guess I haven't done the . . . seriousness? I've never honestly looked into getting a job that made use of my singing or my drawing. Sometimes people pop up on my fanart postings and say I should work on a cartoon show or comment on my karaoke performances and tell me I should become a recording artist, but like . . . I don't even want those things. Or at least I don't think I do. And I don't think it's just intimidation because of all the talent out there, or I'd certainly be frightened into self-propelled obscurity in writing too since cheese knows there's a ridiculous number of talented authors scrambling for the same thing I am.

I don't have to do a thing professionally to do it fairly well and to enjoy doing it. I don't have to be trying to go somewhere money-making with a talent if it's just kinda better than most people but not on a professional level. I just like to doodle stuff and record covers. That's not a situation I perceive as "not doing anything" with it. If nothing else, it entertains me, I guess. That's good enough.

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