I'm borrowing from King Solomon today and noting that "There is nothing new under the sun." As someone who feels an almost aching need to create, to express my thoughts and ideas in a variety of mediums though most often words or images, this can be a little discouraging. How can one be an artist if everything has been done before? The internet is a wonderful thing for many reasons and it opens up the world to people, but it also quickly shows you that the brilliant idea you just had while lying in the bathtub, has already been thought of and presented by someone else. And probably someone else before that. How does one not just give up and stop trying?
I think the answer is that while it has been done before it has not been done by you. Or it has not been done by me. Striving to be first at something may be an exercise in futility, but striving to be your true self is your own form of creative expression. Every day you get up and you are who you are that day. You see the world, interact with the world and represent the world your way. Some will think you are fabulous and some will think you are awful. Perhaps the worst is that some will think you are mediocre. Ignore all that. The hard part is that in order to ignore at least some of the criticism you have to ignore at least some of the admiration. Too much criticism and you may never get going. Too much admiration and you may stagnate. Beware of taking both too seriously.
When I was married my husband was the family omelette expert. He made us delicious breakfasts of bacon and fried potatoes and omelettes. I had never made an omelette before and although I was a good cook in many ways, the omelette intimidated me. There was already an expert in the house. How could I possibly do a good job?
Years later, while living on my own, I was up to my usual trick of multi-tasking a little bit too much. I thought I was clever enough to start some scrambled eggs and then go and check on the laundry. I got the eggs started and on the stove at low heat. My intention was to go and put the clothes into the dryer and then come back to stir the eggs. Of course I forgot. I got out the vacuum cleaner. Something had caught my eye and it was crucial that I vacuum it up that instant. I forgot all about my eggs. I forgot about them for about 15 minutes. Remembering them suddenly, I ran down the hall to the kitchen, frightening the cat into hiding under the table. I looked at my eggs and saw what looked an awful lot like an omelette ready to be folded.
I added mushrooms and some cheese and got out two spatulas and carefully folded it, holding my breath all the while. It worked! Soon I was sitting down to eat what was the most delicious omelette I had ever tasted. Now I make omelettes all the time and sometimes they are a bit of a broken mess, but they still taste damn good. Mushroom, spinach and feta is my house specialty.
What I learned from the omelette will be obvious. You saw it coming, but it's always so easy to see what everyone else is doing wrong while we get stuck in our own patterns and mistaken thoughts.
Get up every day and be you. That may not be effortless but fear not! It's the trying that matters. Anything that is worthwhile won't be effortless and in the process you may achieve something you hadn't expected, an omelette perhaps. I'll end with a quote because I began with one and I like my omelettes and my blogs cheesy.
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way
Thank You. You've been wonderful audience. Good night!