This quote is a really unique quote to keep in mind whatever we do. It fits into all aspects of our lives. In this blog, I am going along with the lines of the person who is working creatively in the arts. Perhaps it is music, painting, designing or writing, however, anyone can see how it would work in whatever field or part of one's life. It just fits!
To most artists, we use our creativity as a means to express our feelings through words, lyrics, notes, paintings, or any of the other visual arts. As our work is created we continue to improve in order to make it as perfect in our minds as possible. When most others don't get it, that is when the split pops up. The artist asks himself do I want to create good work that is being true to myself or do I want to put it out there for a larger audience so that it will become popular and the trendy thing happening now?
You could even argue the point that if it is not popular then it will not ever be perceived as being good among the masses. Artists crave attention and want others to happily share in their work, therefore it does become important to most creative artists to gain wider audiences and to do so may mean changing up their true style. Increasing one's popularity becomes the focus.
This is what I find myself struggling with as I write. Never do I want to just impress publishers to publish my book. I want my book to say what I want it to say. Of course, there are some guidelines that must be adhered to that as a beginner I may not be aware of. I will most definitely accept constructive criticism just please don't try to change out the plot that I conceived. Nor the characters that I created because they are created in my mind and I am the one who visualized them and how they would behave. In reality, they spoke to me and actually became themselves. When I get stuck, sort of a writer's block, it is when 'my friends decide to not come out and talk to me.'
Richard Bach's quote really comes to life for me. Maybe I am too much of an optimist, however, I feel that if I remain true to myself, that what I write will find all of the right readers. When asked by several other writers, who have been published, why am I writing? My answer is because I have a story to tell. Yes, I hope that others will be able to read and share in it with me, but I am not writing to become a famous author making loads of money, going on book tours and signing books. If that happens then bully for me! If that is the only reason that I am writing then shame on me. I am not holding up to my obligation of being true to myself.
There is not a good reason in my mind to follow the crowd. In fact, I believe that by placing good over popular gives me the license to be more creative, not less. I have never been one to see things as black and white. In most everything, there is a massive gray area. If I only try to be good at my writing and not ever consider my work being popular then my vision is most definitely blurred. My vision needs to include both good with popular. It takes balance.
Working at what I believe to be good work and then remaining open to new influences with other opinions can be the best of both worlds. Keeping my integrity in check by listening carefully to others and weighing their opinions to my own is what will help me create something good and popular. A New York Times Best Seller would not be a bad thing, it is just not my end goal. I will be perfectly happy in having a large audience reading my book(s) when they become published.
It is great to bring joy to other people's lives, but my self-respect is important too.