You often hear it said, when a particular artist is referred to, that he or she is really digging deep and baring their soul for the world.
It seems to be a particularly big deal in the world of music, where singers seem to think it’s their goal to appear as if they’re in the greatest of pain and heartbreak with every song that they sing.
That’s all well and good, and I’m sure there is a place for this kind of art. But I have to say that, personally, I find it all a bit exhausting. I don’t need everything I read, or watch or listen to, to take me so deeply into someone else’s pain (concocted or not). Sometimes, I just want to read a really good story, or listen to a really good song that’s sung well without the need for paroxysms of pain.
So what does that mean for me as a writer? Am I somehow seen as less of an artist because I’m not baring the depths of my soul for all the world to see? Is it my job to be eviscerating myself publicly for the benefit of my audience?
I don’t think so. As a writer, I’m quite happy to be coming up with great stories that move and engage and entertain. And yes, there is always a little bit of my heart and soul in there. I can’t help that because it’s the way I write. But it isn’t every last bit of me. When it comes down to it, it’s just a story I’ve made up that I feel some readers out there will enjoy.
Because I’m not baring the deepest, darkest depths of my soul for the world, does that make it any lesser? Does that somehow mean that maybe I’m not as genuine as other writers? Is my work somehow less worthy as art?
I don’t think so.
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