Let’s be honest. Five weeks ago, according to one of the many spreadsheets which rules my life and tells me what to do because waking up each day without an extensive and comprehensive list of what I’m supposed to do is a scary concept, I should have published a post called “Be Honest.” It was, again, according to the spreadsheet of wonders that I made sufficiently long ago that I can pretend it was made by someone who had a better plan for this blog than I do, supposed to be about how it doesn’t matter what we make, as long as it’s honest. I even made the header picture. Well, I got the picture from someone who took a picture of paintbrushes and I put a caption on it and I uploaded it to a draft post. Sufficiently honest enough yet? Well…
I’ve thought a lot about what it means to make art, why I/”We”/”They” make art, and what makes the difference between art and some calculated piece of writing, graphic design, or music. And to be honest, I think it is just honesty.
I don’t really think it makes much of a difference how “good” what you make is, how large of an impact it might have, or how much “standing” someone else might think you have to make whatever form of art you do. If it makes you happy, and you’re up front with yourself and your (potential) audience about what you can make, you’re probably fine; have at it. To a point.
That second part, being honest with ourselves, is the part that becomes the issue sometimes. For example, I write rather a lot of poems on my other blog (Daily Poets). If I’ve “done my job,” I’ll have posted two a day, every day, as far back as a reasonable person is willing to scroll back before them become bored, and I don’t know that I can honestly repeat back to you a single one I’ve written there. I’m a bit baffled sometimes when my dashboard tells me that the site has gotten some number of views on an older post, one that happens to be related to a current one, or that just happens to take off a bit.
Why do I do it then? Seriously? A not insubstantial part of the reason is that it’s a bit nice to see that people have viewed something I’ve made. Another not insubstantial reason is that I’m fairly certain that if I make myself write poetry consistently, I’ll eventually come up with some nice ones that I can divert into the document saved on my computer. At some point, it might even be full enough and devoid of sufficient cringe that I’ll publish it. But that’s not why I do it, not really.
I just kind of like to. It’s a good distraction to have that’s not silly cat videos, and I get a kick out of it. They’re not always keepers, they’re not always sensical, but I would never pretend otherwise. Who knows, maybe they’ll something more one day?