A friend of mine recently asked me a seemingly small question. I was telling her about all of my creative writing projects (my children’s books, novels, short stories and poems), and she asked, in an intrigued tone, “So you feel like you have something to say?”
I could answer that question by rattling off all the philosophical topics I love to chatter about anytime I’m sitting across someone with nothing but coffee between us. And I could easily write a non-fiction book on just those things.
But I don’t think that’s really answering the question (for one thing, I’m not writing that non-fiction book). And I don’t think it’s such a small question after all. Certainly everyone has opinions, and at least a modicum of a unique perspective. Each of us, I believe, has something to share with our fellow humans. But do we feel that something is valuable enough to charge others’ money for it?
Part of the answer lies heavily with how we share our piece. Because that’s the art of it, isn’t it? Are we a good craftsman? Do we weave a compelling tale, or use poetic language?
But also, is our perspective well-informed? Well thought-out? Does it share a perspective sufficiently unique as to provide something new or powerful or educational?
I can only say I hope so. And I suppose that would be the honest answer, in one form or another, of most artists. We create because we are drawn to do it. I write stories and poems, because I’m feel compelled to do so and because I feel immense joy in the process.
But are the works that result things of value? It is the collision of art and audience that starts to answer that question. Even then, we are left with the question: Did the right art find the right audience?