Sometimes I forget.
I forget that when we are talking about the impulse to create – to paint, play music, dance and even write – that it is not the final product that is most important, but the journey it takes to get there.
I was reminded of this a couple weeks ago while at a panel of first-time novelists at the Georgia Literary Festival. There, Augusta-area writer Brian Panowich, the author of excellent Bull Mountain, explained that he wrote his book with an eye not on its eventual publication, but on the goal of having written a novel. While the book has been published and highly lauded, in talking to him, I got the sense that he is prouder of his perseverance than being published.
In considering this, I was struck by how many of my favorite local artists, actors and musicians have chosen to take this approach.
They are not creating with an eye on fame and fortune, although, I’m sure many would accept should that offer arrive, but because they find joy and release in the process. I’d like to, and plan to, include myself in those numbers. Panowich has encouraged me to get in the saddle – to write not just because this column or some other project requires it but for the reason I was first attracted to the idea of putting words on paper. Because I love to create. Does that mean I have a book in me? I don’t know. But it does mean that I’m ready, after years of talk and false starts, to try.
I’d like to conclude this column by acknowledging just a few of the people – artists in their own way one and all – that I have drawn, and will continue to draw, inspiration from. People who have, and will continue, to populate this column and, more significantly, the community. They create because it brings them joy. May we all draw inspiration from their example.
I’d like to list them, but I can’t. The numbers are just too vast, their contributions too many to note. Rest assured that those contributions will continue to be recounted here and I hope you find them as inspiring as I do. More than that, I hope that you will join them on their journey and pick up a brush, instrument or pen and create something.
It is, I believe, a journey worth taking.