You might think it brave climbing on the roof to do repairs as per my last blog. But it’s not the bravest thing I do!
The bravest thing I do is putting writing out there.
If you’re one of those brave people who do it too you’ll know why.
If you’re not, you might be one of those who think it requires no courage or stamina at all and is just an excuse not to get a proper job!
However, it’s one thing creating something. That’s hard enough in itself especially if you do it day after day on your own. But it’s something harder to make it public. Especially since the majority of the public seem to think they’re qualified to criticise, even though they’ve had no direct experience of doing it themselves.
That’s a bit like home education, I’ve found. Those who have absolutely no experience of it still think they’re qualified to pass judgement.
Doing art work is a bit like raising your child. It’s something you have nurtured and protected, developed and grown with devotion and emotion and times that have cost you dear. And just like with a child, the moment of letting go, letting it out to fend for itself in the battering world, is like tearing a part of yourself off. You want to hide and lick your wounds.
Some people never manage it. Never manage to allow their children or their art work a state of independence.
To do so is immensely brave. It involves trust. It involves confidence. And it will involve taking the knocks that will sometimes be the consequence.
The thing is, no one knows what it’s like to raise your child, they’re not you, they don’t live to your circumstances, they have no understanding of your challenges. And those who never put art out into the world in whatever form; books, pictures, sculptures, films, performing, textiles, designs, whatever, have no comprehension of what that’s like either.
Or what the personal cost is in courage.
I now know both, as a parent and a writer.
Many of us know what it’s like to parent and let our children go. Equally many don’t and insult us with the term ’empty nest syndrome’. But parenting is an art form in itself, so we are all creatives. Even without home educating, when parents are extremely brave and creative in educating their children independently of others, we are all creative parents – have to be.
But less of us know what it’s like to write or paint or perform, create films or textiles or designs, and actually put it out there. This is the bit that takes the most courage.
So whatever creation you come across whether it’s by a five or a fifty year old, perhaps after reading this you could show a little compassion rather than criticism towards those who’ve done it, most particularly if you’ve never done it yourself.
And consider the bravery it takes not only to craft something, but also to share something so personally nurtured with the rest of the world.