Monday, May 19, 2014

Working in the Arts

Deciding on a career in the arts is a tough choice. It’s true that the pinnacle players in every art—be it writing, painting, dance, sculpting, film, or music—make a comfortable living. For the other 99% of us, however, the arts are not a way to make a viable income. For instance, almost all writers have to make their money at something other than book sales. I’m certain that’s true of the other art forms. I was lucky; I began my writing career shortly after retiring from corporate America, where I managed to ensure a comfortable retirement.

But money aside, the arts are a very human way of getting the most out of life. Practicing an art, be you an amateur or the master, expands your soul, and isn’t that what life is about?

There are millions, perhaps billions, of people who merely vegetate in front of the TV admiring what other people have created. Why be one of those? Why not become a creator?

So my advice for a more rewarding life is to become the performer or the artist rather than merely the audience. Write stories, sing in the shower, dance to the radio, take up the guitar, take videos on your phone camera, create a blog on a subject that interests you, dab paint on a canvas. Do it every day, and do it as well as you possibly can. Regardless of how good or how lousy you are at it, you will get an enormous reward. You will have created something unique to you.

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