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Apr 15, 2009

Are You Dancing Or Just Swaying Back and Forth?

Some of you may have already seen one of these links on Janet Reid's blog. More inspiration from Britain's Got Talent.

It made wonder. How can you tell if you should keep holding onto a creative dream? Here are two people who are well into their lives -- one 49 one 60 -- who haven't given up.

But how do you know if the world is crazy for overlooking you or if you are crazy to keep trying?

How do you know if you're dancing or just swaying back and forth?

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Here's what Paul Potts, another Britain's Got Talent discovery had to say:
“I feel like I’m living on gifted time as an artist. You don’t own the time, it is given to you by your fans and public who buy your music and support you. For that I will never stop being grateful and I appreciate the journey I am on even more. In life you sometimes take a turn you weren’t expecting, you don’t know where it leads but you have to take that path. This is what happened with me and Britain’s Got Talent. I still don’t know where this wonderful journey is headed but I certainly appreciate every moment of it.

And if you think suceeding once stills the questions and self-doubt, think again. “The second album is always a challenge, when your first is such a success you cannot be complacent and believe the second will do the same. There is more pressure, you have to work harder, be bigger, better, this is the same for every artist.”


Scott said...

Following a dream is never crazy. I started writing for me. I didn't start writing with these great dreams of literary success. I started writing because I wasn't happy with the end of a book I was reading, so I started a continuation of the story. Then, the writing bug chomped down hard on me and I haven't stopped since.

Would I like literary (and monetary) success with my writing? Of course. Am I still content to write even if that never happens? Yes. The words keep tumbling out of me and I'll write as long as I write. Hopefully, I'll find success as well.

Susan Boyle is 47 years old. She is an Internet sensation. She started singing when she was 12. She didn't give up. She just waited for her shining moment and delivered (at least in my opinion) an absolutely stunning performance that is wowing the world.

I'm a firm believer that 'things' happen when they are supposed to happen. All we can do is hold on to our dreams and do what we do best. For me, it's writing. For Susan Boyle, it's singing. Her shining moment is here and now. Perhaps my shining moment is just around the next bend in this crazy road I call LIFE!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

I don't think it's ever too late to keep holding onto a creative dream. The wonderful thing about dreams (or more specifically desires of the heart) is that, despite fame and fortune, they still manage fulfill. Why give up on something that is your passion? It helps us become the people we are. True, you might fade from the public eye or never had made it there in the first place, but if your dream is something that began for a purpose other than money or fame, it will endure. (And we shouldn't try to squelch it.)

Tara Maya said...

I agree -- I would write for my own pleasure, just as I dance for my own pleasure. (And I dance kinda like Andy). But I'm never going to audition as a singer or dancer for a TV show because, as much fun as it brings me, I know it doesn't bring anyone else enjoyment. (Except making friends laugh.)

When you try to go to the professional level, you are aiming for something a little more than just self-gratification, I think. In fact, doing what it takes to polish and polish and polish your writing can be downright painful. I certainly don't enjoy edits *for their own sake* the way I do writing itself. What I enjoy is the process of knowing the hard work has made my story a better story.

scott g.f.bailey said...

This is a question I've been asking myself a lot lately. I haven't been phrasing it as "dancing or just swaying back and forth" (for the record, I'm a swayer), but I have been wondering if I want to be a Writer For A Living. The closer I get to my deadline for sending my revisions off to my agent, the more I wonder.

Part of that, I'm sure, is just fear that Mr. Agent will send me a "yur ms is suxor, dude. sorry" email when he sees the new version. But part of it is that there is a huge amount of work required to rise above being someone who writes essentially for pleasure, to become someone who writes for publication. The last six weeks of revisions to the novel have been unpleasant, difficult and ego-deflating. Two months ago I thought I had a brilliant little novel. Now I think it's okay, but I'm wishing I was a better writer so it would be as good as I want it to be. And the constant fear that I'm ruining what I thought was a brilliant little novel is melting my brain. But I think it will be okay when I'm done. Likely, once I have critical distance again, I'll see that it's better than it was six weeks ago; that's usually what happens. And despite all my doubts, I'm doing the work anyway.

On the other hand, I play violin. I love playing violin, and I'm not awful but I will never play at a professional standard and I am not pursuing some dream of being a paid musician (unless I start a tango band, which I'm considering). So we have to believe in our art, but we should be realistic about it. How that awareness is found is something I don't know. Rambly today. Sorry.

SandyG said...

I have spent my life working with people who are "successful" in business. I have seen enough of them to know that they believe their own illusions. Success - literary recognition, fame, fortune - are all nice things to pursue - they tell us we have arrived. But most of us write because the act of writing is what motivates us, the need to get that story or that idea in a form that allows others to share it.

Most of us are content with dancing in private. Sometimes, we get good enough that we feel we have earned the right to dance in public. And if the public likes us, that's great. And if the public thinks we dance as well as Tara Maya, well so what. At least the dance was fun!