Thursday, November 29, 2012

Being a creative type--blessing, curse or both?

I have a question for all you creative types out there:  Do you ever wish you were just a normal person?

Every once in a while, I go through a period where I question every decision I've ever made in life, including the decision to pursue a creative path.  I feel like I'm constantly overwhelmed with stuff I have to do and want to do, and the majority of it stems from my calling to be a writer and comedian.

During our session a couple of weeks ago, my fantastic comedy coach, Michael "Wheels" Parise, had me make a list of ten goals for 2013. I came up with eleven. I probably won't achieve everything on my list--or maybe I will--but it's something to strive for. And it should keep me out of trouble.

Linda' Goals for 2013
  1. Have my next book, "I'm a Mess, You're a Mess," ready for publication next spring or summer and hold some kind of release event
  2. Pursue bookings in A-level comedy clubs
  3. Get more speaking engagements for non-profit, women's groups, etc.
  4. Do spouse programs for the spouses of folks attending conferences here in Las Vegas
  5. Participate in library writing panels
  6. Speak at or participate in a panel at the 2013 Vegas Valley Book Festival
  7. Do more comedy fundraisers
  8. Create an audio book for Bastard Husband: A Love Story
  9. Formalize my mailing list, create a database, and send out regular correspondence to fans
  10. Give workshops on self-empowerment
  11. Speak at a writers' conference
Every single one of these comes with a list of steps that need to be taken in order to achieve that goal, and that's when I want to throw my hands in the air and just say, "Fuck it, I'm just gonna be a normal person who goes to work everyday, comes home and makes dinner, and then reads a little and watches TV and then goes to bed and does the same thing the next day." No more constantly pursuing, pursuing, pursuing...

I have friends who are writers, comedians, musicians, actors, artists, photographers, jewelry designers--all of us are doing whatever we can to get ourselves out there, to share our art with the world. Last night Mike and I attended my friend Wendy Roundtree's photography opening at the Henderson Multi-generational Center (running through 12/22). As I looked at her beautiful photos (and ate one free cookie after another), I thought of all the work it took Wendy to get to that point.  There's so much work behind the art.

Wendy on the right, Mike and I on the left

Wendy in the middle

So. much. work.  But I love when I get new reviews on Amazon and new "likes" for my Bastard Husband page on Facebook.  It makes my day when a reader takes the time to email me to say how much they enjoyed my book or blog.  I love it when friends come to see me perform--how cool that I'm able to provide a forum to get a bunch of people together for a fun night out--or strangers come up to me after a show and tell me they wish I were their friend in real life.  That's what makes it all worth it.

In the 2002 documentary Comedian, Jerry Seinfeld tells a great story about members of the Glenn Miller band, who, stranded in the middle of a cold, wet field, instruments in hand, are trudging on their way to a gig. They see bright lights and discover a happy family inside a cozy, warm home. Mom, Dad and the kids are sitting at the dinner table, laughing. One musician looks at another and says "How do they live like that?" 

That says it all.  We'd have it no other way.

Please, this holiday season remember to support your local artists! 


Debbie said...

This was a great post Linda and can I just say I LOVE THE TITLE FOR YOUR NEXT BOOK LOL!!!! it's so you!

I wish I could be as organized in goal setting as you are. You are very clear on all that you would like to accomplish and I really admire that. Who cares whether you accomplish every single goal! You can accomplish one or two or three, but you WILL accomplish something!

I feel the same way when someone leaves me a comment on one of my blog posts. It makes my day when someone thinks I'm funny or can relate to one of my stories. I wish I lived in a place like Henderson ... so close to Vegas. I live about 20 miles from Hollywood. It is not far but it is such a schlep through mind numbing bumper-to-bumper traffic that the thought of driving to a comedy class or writer's workshop is exhausting.

That said ... you continue to be my idol. <3

grrouchie said...

I'm finding that as I continue down my path I have less and less free time to do the more and more I want to do.

I, however, am not currently as driven as you are and I just file shit into the "going to do now" and "will hope to get to eventually" categories in my brain and hope I remember to do some of the 2nd category at some point :)

You will be amazing in 2013

Hurricane Mikey said...

You should go full-on Pacino and call it 'I'm a mess, you're a mess, this whole court is a mess!'

Just offerin' suggestions here...

linda said...

Being a creative type is a curse when you have to live your life as a normal type. It's a constant internal conflict.

Which is no doubt why a lot of creative people are of a certain age when they start to allow the creative self dominate. If you ignore the creative self too long I think it can leave one a bit angry or resentful. Or sad.

Paul Atreides said...

Yep, pursuing anything in the arts is a right royal pain in the ass! But in my years of acting, directing, producing, and now writing I've found it's between projects that I go nuts. Working on the creative thing - whatever it may be at the time - is the only way I remain sane. Well, as sane as any artiste can be. Sort of. Maybe.

Donna B. said...

Great post and fantastic list....but would you please add "Have more writer's meetings at your house"? I often question myself too....and battle between my writing and is a pain...but it can be so stimulating and inspiring...which is what hooks me in.

Taradharma said...

you is who you is. you are a creative type, you cannot help yourself on this one. that list is daunting indeed. I would pick one or two and concentrate on it. see how it goes. then if you feel like it, after accomplishing one or two, pick a couple more.

Dangerous Linda said...

Linda: Thank you for sharing your list of goals -- I will hold them in my heart! Looking forward to meeting you in the New Year! XOXOXOXOX