Too often do we make art a serious business when art becomes work, when it becomes a source of income. Do not let the expectation of an editor or reader stifle your imagination, your conception of what is interesting and possible. Create with the refinement of an expert, but with the verve and passion of an amateur. Browse dusty bookshelves for the book you want to read and when-after years of searching fruitlessly, you never find it-write it yourself.
The usual process of becoming a published writer involves pitching to an editor and then writing a piece based on client need, reader interest, a logistical breakdown of readership demographics, etc.
But what if we reversed the process?
Today, compose a piece for the simple joy of creating-without all the strain of a deadline or the pressure of a perceived market-and then pitch the idea to an editor. Let your artist play. Too much serious business and creativity shrivels to the size of a peanut. I like the idea of writing a piece for the sheer fun of it because then there’s no pressure; and if there’s no pressure, there’s no reason to get stage fright: there’s no audience, no judgmental stares of observant spectators, no need to perform.
Art is a showcase and not a performance.
Writing in this way frees us from the hazardous tendency to write for someone other than ourselves. If our goal is to fulfill consumer need efficiently on time like parts on an assemble line, if our goal is to meet the silly, empty-headed expectations of a market, we will write nothing but useless drivel. And we will have committed the worst crime against ourselves: we will have been inauthentic.
So in the end, you must always remember: authenticity begins outside a market.