Previous: Paint Your Lunch

Would You Do It Anyway?

Why Create? - Steven Savage

The artist creates not just visions, but explorations, tools, and inspirations – not all of which are or need to be pleasant. But, like the Bards of fantasy games, the artist changes you and enhances you.

Right now you doubtlessly have a book, game, comic, or other thing to make. You may, like many of us, pause to ask if it’s worth it. I would turn it around and ask two things: do you enjoy doing it and will someone get something out of it?

I remember an interview with Andrew Mackenzie, a/k/a The Hafler Trio (from the long-vanished magazine Music From The Empty Quarter, #6 (Nov. 1992):

Q: How did you come about making music?

A: God visited me in my bedroom in Newcastle and he said, "YOU WILL MAKE RECORDS THAT SOUND LIKE CARS GOING PAST THE WINDOW."

I don't know, why does anybody do anything? You make up the reasons afterward. Because it turns you on. It gets the electricity flowing. Who knows?

"Do you enjoy doing it?" is, I think, only half the statement. The way I would put it is, "Would you do this anyway?" Would you do it if there was no money in it, no chance of recognition, no acknowledgment by way of peers or random audience members, none of that stuff?

And if you do choose to do it anyway, how willing are you to up your game? How willing are you to not simply remain at the level of an inspired amateur, but push your own envelopes as constantly and consistently as you can?

My feeling is if you say yes to both of those things, someone is bound to get something out of it as long as they have some way to find out about it.

Some time back I took a long, hard look at my ambitions, and decided I wasn't interested in writing because I wanted to be rich or famous or mobbed by groupies. There are far easier ways to get wealthy; being famous is almost inevitably counterproductive; and I'd rather keep my circle of acquaintances small and genuine. I wanted to write because I wanted to write, and because I was Just Pretentious Enough (© and ™ Henry Rollins) to assume someone else, even if only one other person, would be interested in whatever it was I was doing too. I'd do it even if no one was looking, and I knew it.

I mentioned the second quote as a way to contrast the first. Most of us do make up the reasons for something afterwards, especially some creative impulse. But that can be a trap. It's not enough to say, it gets me going. It's a good start, but it's also a sign that you need to lift the lid of that impulse and ask yourself, would I do it anyway?

Tags: Steven Savage Dialogues  creativity 

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Previous: Paint Your Lunch

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This page contains a single entry by Serdar Yegulalp in the category Uncategorized / General, published on 2018/11/23 17:00.

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