I am a brilliant creative force. No wait. I suck.

My eleven year old daughter, who, not ten minutes ago, was riding a wave of euphoria while singing her new song, is now angry and in tears because that same song “is actually trash.” I’ve been writing (as a career) for twenty one years now, and I still do the same thing.

I’m more tolerant of the process than I used to be. I’ve learned to embrace (and even to enjoy) the fine opponent that my muse can be. I wrestle her into words and melody until, as an interior designer put it, my eyes don’t snag on a thing in the room.

But it’s never a given, the faith that it’s worthwhile. That the end result, and even the process itself, has any value. We write because we have to. Don’t we say that sometimes? In between our searches for real jobs? But we don’t really have to. We could spend our wakefulness on… And we certainly don’t have to try to craft anything transcendent or abiding.

My son gets it. He worked on that orca drawing until he was pleased, and then offered it to me saying, “Take three seconds, and enjoy.”

One time, after a concert, a man told me that my songs make him want to love his wife better. I wonder if I’d still be writing if people didn’t take the time to tell me things like that.

We should have a special bin for ‘testimonials,’ so that when we we’re tempted to despair, we can draw them out, and say, “but this…” What are some of yours?

8 Replies to “I am a brilliant creative force. No wait. I suck.”

  1. I have to admit, I never think my songs are bad once finished (though I’ve found ways to improve some after I had decided they were done–sometimes long after). There are some early songs I wouldn’t write today, because either my perspective has changed or my skills have improved. Execution and lack of adequate effort to get them out there is where I’m most acutely aware of my shortcomings. But, since you asked…having a kid bob his head to a song I did at Puckett’s a couple weeks ago was a great compliment. And here’s one from the vault: https://markkellyhall.blogspot.com/2009/09/soundtrack-for-love-story.html

    1. I blame the sound guy when that happens! 🙂

  2. I feel like everyone is critical of themselves, but CREATIVES feel it on a totally different level when it comes to their work. I was like this with my own blog posts, editing and re-editing constantly because I felt like what I was saying sucked it didn’t make sense, and I’m still having to get out of it and be like, “Just post the damn thing.” 😄😂

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