It was a ridiculously hot November day as the Ninneman section of Chiang Mai bustles around me. Finally, I’ve found the space to do nothing.
In the shade, with a cold pressed juice, I settle into a book. I don’t read much, but I do my best to support the work of friends.
And his work was leaving his words – his thoughts, his self – on pages for others to inspect.
Some good. Some bad. Some hard. Some fun.
But none – none of the words – are judged.
I know the author, but it was not the author I was reading. I’m reading his words. Words meant to simply be; not to be anything in particular. Just to be.
You see, art is an expression of who you are. Artists put their work out into the world without viewing it as a cause to create an effect. It simply is. Some will love it. Some will hate it. But, anyone that comes in contact with it will have an experience: good or ill.
Don’t let that word “art” fool you. You are an artist. Anything you create or do is art in form or function. My art is teaching a class, crafting well-flowing code, writing this post, or even squeaking out as much gas mileage as possible by driving certain ways.
What is your art?
Take a second to answer that question in your head. What do you do that is your art?
… and why has no one seen it?
Are you afraid people will laugh at what you do? Are you afraid you’re not good enough? Are you afraid people will judge your work?
I know that’s way easier said than done. But, you never know what you’re capable of until you do it. You can’t know what people are going to think.
Do you know why some great authors use Pen Names? Because they’re afraid of the ramifications of their writings. Sometimes it’s from the law and sometimes it’s just being afraid of what their family and friends would think of their “work.”
But, for every famous author who used a pen name, there’s a famous author.
In other words, there are people that enjoy that author’s voice – and it doesn’t matter if it was the family or friends they were afraid of. Ultimately, someone loved it.
…and they would never have known unless they released their art – even in secret – to the world.
It’s tough. But, you want to be brave, right?