Friday, March 5, 2010


There are moments when I just feel: I can't do this.

Not I'm not capable.  Fortunately, my self-esteem is pretty good when it comes to feeling like I have the requisite talent to be a successful artist (read: money-making artist).  But rather, this is impossibleI can't make this work.  I can't pay my bills, have a social life, and be an artist.  I don't waste a lot of time -- if I gave that impression in my "desire vs. discipline" post, it is because I was being very hard on myself.  I don't even own a television -- I watch a little bit of tv/movies on my computer, but I'd be very surprised if that totaled more than 3 hours a week.   But I don't want to get into defending myself here, that's not the point of this post.

Tonight is one of those nights when the pain and frustration of being a struggling artist can bring me to my knees.  Snapping at my boyfriend, crying on the bus, uttering doomsday statements like "I'm ready to give up this project altogether", doubting the choices I've made like "what if I made the wrong choice giving up my opera career?".  I asked my boyfriend tonight: "are most writers just complete and total hermits with no social lives?"  He snorted and said, "yeah, that is pretty much the classic stereo-type.  And bloggers are known for sitting around in their pajamas all day eating Cheetos."   That is so not me.   Which makes me wonder -- have I chosen wrong AGAIN?

(If you're wondering what precipitated all this, here's a brief run-down: my best-boyfriend-ever and I have had little quality time together lately between my schedule and him spending a lot of time visiting his mom in New Hampshire as she recovers from surgery.  In an attempt to rectify this, we came up with a brilliant plan: after I got off work at 2:30 today, we were to go to a 3 oclock movie, grab some dinner fixins, head back to my place, spend my hour and a half writing on my play, cook/eat dinner, then have some free recreational time together.  When I did the math in my head, I never dreamed that we wouldn't get home until almost 8pm after seeing a 3:15pm movie.  Suddenly I was back in this position of not being done eating til 10pm, and having to write while exhausted and likely falling asleep in front of the computer.  Something about that -- at the beginning of a month where I am not going to have a single full day off until April 2nd -- just made me snap.  It seems even when I plan out a day perfectly balanced between work, social life and writing, it just doesn't work.)

I long for the days of the patron system.  Oh, for someone who believes in and enjoys my art so much that they are willing to pay my living expenses so that I can create art for them.  Heck, I'd be immensely grateful for someone who would just grant me enough to cover a few hours of work.  Anything so that I didn't have to work 6-7 days a week.   So that I could have just a handful of hours each day to devote to my craft.  I'm not a lazy person.  I don't mind working for a living, I really don't.  It's just .... it's so hard to be an artist and an admin assistant and a music teacher and a weight watchers leader (fortunately only for one more week) and a girlfriend and a sister and a best friend and a daughter and a healthy person who eats well and goes to the gym.   How on earth do people do this?  Is it possible to be an artist and not be frustrated and tired and financially struggling and torn and lonely and disappointed and angry and sad?

In the midst of all this frustration, I am so very grateful to my boyfriend, my dear friends, my family, and my gentle readers for all of your heartfelt, kind words of support and encouragement.  To read comments from you that I have given you things to think about, or made you feel less alone, makes all this frustration feel worth it.  If I may ask only one small favor in return:  If my blog has struck a chord with you, please pass it on to those you think might also enjoy it.  I'm not sure exactly what the path is, but maybe,  just maybe, my writing can help bring me to a place where I can support myself from my creative endeavors and have all the more to give back.

Gratefully, play-fully yours,

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