After The HoliDaze. 

Once we’ve all had our fill of Christmas dinners, presents, and family traditions. It’s time to sober up from the holiday buzz that overcomes us all. Whether you get drunk off the gift giving and holiday cheer, or just the eggnog, it’s a great time to take some self inventory. Did you get what you wanted out of the season? 

If your answer is an all around resounding “Yes!” Then I’m proud of you and happy for you! If. It’s not, then why is that? Keep in mind I’m not a therapist or counsellor so I’m not trying to get in your head or solve your emotional problems. I’m trying to open a dialogue. Something I always used to get hung up on was personal satisfaction. 

I mean that in a specific way such as, I would only ever find it if I managed to make everyone else as happy as I could over the holidays. Then I’d second guess myself and wind up miserable. It didn’t matter if I KNEW that I did a good job of gift giving or spreading holiday cheer, it would somehow get twisted. 

There’s no real solution to this that I can offer you, so instead, this is what I’ve been doing. Try and understand what you’re capable of accomplishing, and then what you’d like to accomplish. If those don’t line up, then adjust your perspective. It isn’t possible to make every single person on your list perfectly happy. Yet it is possible to do the best you can and feel good about it. 

As we trek through the last week of this very curious epidemic we know as 2016, don’t get hung up on the holidays. Look forward to the next chapter or the next project. Even the next holiday if that’s your bread and butter. Either way, acknowledge that you did your best, and you’re loved no matter how many gifts you brought to the tree, or how many hours you had to work through this season. 

It’s sometimes hard to fathom, but we’re all doing a little better than we’re feeling. 

Happy holidays, may you have a peaceful and love filled end to the year. 

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All That Gold

I think that one of the most precious resources we have in this world is art. I mean, how many times do you find yourself turning to art? I myself can come up with a lengthy list. I mean who can’t? With that being said, I choose to look at art as something even more precious than gold. The only difference really being that you can create it in your basement, your spare room, your friends living room and even in no room at all.

I worry that people are becoming too easily dissuaded from creating. There is such a huge amount of art circulating out there that one might find it daunting to even think about creating something and putting it out into the crowded sea of everyone else’ work. Which I understand completely. I’m pretty afraid of it too. I mean, here I sit having just finished writing my first novel, and I have no idea what to do next. It’s worse then that though, I haven’t even told that many people. Which maybe is a good thing? I don’t know.

What I do know, is that you can’t stop creating. You have to keep going and keep doing it. Treat it like the drug you cant live without, or the support structure you rely on. No matter what just do it. Thats the one thing I’ve become absolutely certain of. Will I ever become a successful author, a famous actor, or anything related to the art world? I hope so. Should the countless possible end results affect my present dedication to my passions?

Absolutely not.

I mean what do i really know though right? This is just what works for me. Find your own thing, stick to it, love it, and live it. Please. For you.

In Paradise

I’ve heard people say that the best way to create art is by utilizing your sadness and or pain. Channeling it into something beautiful and meaningful. To take something bad that happened to you or someone you love and making it mean more by immortalizing it. I think I put too much faith in that ideal for too long of a time. It was something I whole heartedly believed in. It felt like it was the right way to do things. Feeling pain felt like home, and being sad was the key to forward motion creatively. That was a dangerous time for me.

When things happen in your life that can change you, or do in fact change you directly. It makes sense to think its meant to be. To believe that its something thats supposed to happen. To feel as though you must now be different, that life is demanding you to be someone else. That is another thing that I believed with all of me. Another thing that I gave up my time for. It becomes a sort of game that you play with yourself. Where you think of the things that hurt you just to see how deep the cut runs. To see how much you can make yourself bleed without ever using a real knife. Self torture isn’t only ever physical, and while that can be fatal, the emotional kind can be too.

Maybe we don’t always know when we’re doing it. Maybe it’s just a thought here, and a thought there, but eventually builds into something different. Becomes a monster that you’ve created yourself, but something thats seemingly impossible to deconstruct on your own. We are capable of creating such wondrous things with our minds, it only makes sense that the opposite is equally as true. So we change and we self destruct, then we rebuild and then we change, only to destroy again.

Until we realize something. Something that took me a long time to realize, but can happily say that I’m aware of. While this life will devastate you, push you, and ultimately end you. It doesn’t have to change you. It doesn’t need to alter the image you see in the mirror, or take away from you the memories you hold dear. It can try, and it will, but it comes down to whether or not your willing to lose. As an artist, I thought it was my job to lose, that sadness was just a rite of passage. While it can be inspirational, it doesn’t have to become a way of life. You’re allowed to smile, you’re allowed to laugh, and most importantly you’re allowed to be happy.

The battle never ends though. If I’m being honest with you, I struggle more than I like to admit. Only the difference is I know that its okay to allow yourself to feel the pain, if you acknowledge that its only for the moment. I have the people that I love who will support me through anything, and I finally feel happiness surrounding me.

Don’t sacrifice your happiness for art. Find a way to exist in a world where you can feel the sun, and still enjoy the rain.

Nothing At All

I think that the difference, for me at least, in being a genuine writer or a hobbyist. Is committing full time to a project. It’s loving what you’re doing with all your heart, or just enjoying it. Not to say you can’t love what you enjoy, I think where there’s love there’s enjoyment, but to say that I’ve not always loved what I’ve enjoyed writing. 

The other factor for me, which applies only to me, is that I’ve written many short stories but never anything greater. The biggest accomplishment I’ve had in my artistic journey had been writing several short stories that were linked by one character. It wasn’t anything that original or genuinely inspired. I ended up throwing it out. 

The best example I can give is that this past February I started writing a book. I had a grand plan and a well thought out concept. I dove right in and committed too it fully. I enjoyed wiring it and had a lot fun, but days started passing where I didn’t write a word. Then weeks, and then a couple months, and I didn’t even think about it. 

Then a Saturday afternoon (August 6th) I started typing up what I thought would be a short story. Three weeks later (last night) I finished writing my first full length novel. I loved writing it, the words just flowed and the ideas developed and I’ve never had more fun. I’ve barely slept the past three weeks and I’ve never been more exhausted but it’s felt entirely worth it. I still have many hours worth of editing ahead but I can’t wait. 

I think the point that I’m trying to make, is if you have an idea you love then you should let it consume you. With this art we’re all trying to create, we have to give all of ourselves to it, in order for it to truly bloom.