MUSINGS OF A STORY MERCHANT

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

PUT YOUR FEELINGS TO WORK FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Especially in the pre-Holiday recession mode when bad news seems to line up at every portal, with SAG perched to decide to add a final nail to the coffin by authorizing a strike, it’s good for the writer to remind himself or herself that the FEELINGS caused by such news need not be allowed to linger in the brain and heart. Instead they can be put to work, going back to regular attention to the project you love the most. You will quickly lose yourself in that creative work and when you emerge your hope will be restored. That will create the good mood again. I know it’s a constant struggle—and I can assure you it doesn’t get any easier the older or more successful you become. It just becomes more necessary. In the work itself you will rediscover enthusiasm, self-confidence, and gratitude that you have a vocation that is under your control and only yours. I’m talking about the work itself, not the world’s reaction to it, not the money, not the recognition. The work itself is the center of the artist’s being and you betray your artistic calling when you neglect it while indulging in feelings that will make no tangible difference a week from now, much less a year or ten years from now. The only tangible result feelings can produce is in your work. Put your feelings to work for the holidays!

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