“So, what is it you exactly DO do?” – Young Frankenstein, the movie
A couple years back I spent eighteen months holed up in my everything-I-do-for-a-living studio and was hardly able to escape the room as I wrote my manuscript for my first book. My husband would pop his head in the door @ 11:00 pm, tell me he was going to bed and I’d mutter, “mm-hmm” and keep writing and editing until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. Today, I’ve started, deleted, swore at the monitor, went to the kitchen for some dark chocolate, made myself a Barbadian martini (silver rum, coconut rum, pineapple and orange juice), plugged in my lava lamp and lit a candle for ambiance, and started over again to write that first, amazing blog post that will keep people riveted. It only took me two hours to get to this point.
I spent some time thinking about what brands me as an artist and I came up with Artistic Audacity. Often the word audacity is used to mean nerve, i.e., “The NERVE of her to tell me I’m being stubborn!” I like to think of audacity as being daring, bold, feisty. Audacity as a verb, not a noun. That’s the me I’d like to be, every minute of every day. I’m not. Today, I’m kinda…meh. But I do know where I want to be, and I believe that’s a very important first step.
Most people at age 55 are looking toward retirement – here in Minnesota, summering at the lake cabin, wintering in the south, golfing with friends, drinking highballs or scotch on the rocks. Lovely as it sounds, it isn’t me. I’m always keeping my eyes, ears, and heart open to what my next adventure will be. As of this past week my doctors tell me I’m in good physical health and as long as I exercise, stay on my mental health meds, and go for a therapy tune-up when necessary, my sanity is intact and I may have a few more decades to do what I love to do. To keep things interesting, I have to remind myself that always following the rules of society is not a precedent for creative and happy living.
So what is it I exactly DO do? I sing, compose, teach, write, produce, direct, conduct, market, play instruments, give speeches, schmooze with people, and spend a lot of time thinking. My blog, Artistic Audacity, will take you along for the ride and open you up to the marvelous discoveries of being blessed enough to be born an artist. And a bit audacious.
Tags: artistic audacity, mental health, writing