I’m too busy to write…
I have a major report due in three days that I am not close to completing. I have to give a presentation in Indianapolis the next day, and I am not done preparing for that. I am cooking my daughter’s birthday dinner tonight, and I have to give and grade a midterm exam this week. I’m too busy to write…
So what am I doing?
Because the truth is, I am too busy NOT to write.
Writing has become a place where I can release tension…where I can express everything that is on my mind; a place where I can vent completely without any repercussions…
Of course, not everything I have written makes its way into print…or, more precisely, onto my blog page.
Some things are not meant for public consumption.
That does not mean that they are not valuable.
When I was in my writing rut a couple of months ago, I wasn’t writing anything anywhere…the frustration was building, and I wasn’t releasing it in a healthy way. I had convinced myself that if I didn’t have anything that was worthy to be published on my blog, I shouldn’t write it down.
Wow, was THAT short-sighted.
The truth is that we are all artists, but not all of our art must be created for the public to view.
At least not until after we are dead.
Don’t laugh…there is value in creating art just for ourselves…art that we can enjoy alone or share with only one or two other people…
And creating that art can be cleansing for our minds and our creativity.
It is not without precedent…Recently, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, where I am a frequent volunteer, held an exhibit on the life and art of Theodor Geisel. For those unfamiliar with Mr. Geisel, you probably know him better by his pen name, Dr. Seuss.
The exhibit was fascinating…there were original paintings of many of his iconic characters, including The Cat in the Hat, Horton, and The Lorax. The exhibit also included political cartoons that Geisel created during World War II and original bronze sculptures of his beloved children’s book characters. But the most fascinating paintings were those exhibited in an area called Dr. Seuss’s Secret Garden.
It was in this area that over 100 paintings from Geisel’s private collection were on display.
These were paintings that Geisel kept hidden away in a secret room in his home. He left specific instructions in his will that they were only to be shown publicly after his death.
Some of them are incredibly beautiful…
Some of them would never, EVER show up in a CHILDREN’S book…
And all of them were distinctively Dr. Seuss.
Geisel knew he had to feed his soul through his art, both publicly and privately.
I would suggest that most artists create things that never make into the public domain.
I remember the buzz after Michael Jackson died…there were recordings of songs that he had never released. Why he chose not to release them, we may never know. But I believe it’s safe to say that there are still more songs that he may have written that never got beyond his own notepad.
Every now and then, we will hear in the news about a previously hidden or unknown painting that turns out to be an original Picasso, or some other famous artist. Why didn’t we know about this artwork before? It’s likely that the artist did not release it to be seen by the public.
Maybe they thought it was inferior…
Or maybe they wanted to enjoy it for themselves.
Either way, it was art, created by an artist…and for one brief period of time, it was a piece that consumed their time and energy.
So if I go a few days or a week without updating my blog, chances are that it’s not because I have stopped writing…
It’s because I have been creating in private.
And it’s not intended for public viewing.
At least not yet…
I will leave instructions in my will to have all of my private writing released to the blogosphere in the event of my death.
In 50 years or so…