Must Artists Always Be At Work?

“I wish I could read your travel journals,” a friend once told me. “I bet they’re amazing.”  I changed the subject. Fast. She’d be so disappointed with my journals. They are filled with clichéd lines like, “the view was breathtaking” or “the mountains were beautiful.”  I’m a hard-core traveler. I like to see and do as much as possible on my trips. I’m usually jotting notes in my journal at night when I’m half-asleep. If I’ve been sightseeing all day, the last thing I want to do is agonize over crafting the perfect sentence.  I’m on vacation, after all.

We’ve all been there. The singer who is asked to lead things off at the karaoke party. The artist who is given a napkin and told to draw something clever in the bar. The writer who can’t attend a gathering of any kind without someone saying, “You’re the writer. How would you phrase this?”  Like doctors and car mechanics and financial advisers, artists and entrepreneurs seem to be always on duty.

Creating art is hard work, though.  I’ll reread this post at least a dozen times before I upload it. I’ll pore over every sentence until it’s practically memorized.  While many of us can produce a semblance of our art on the spot, you will likely be disenchanted with the results.If you were to read my travel journals, you’d see lines like this: “Heading home tomorrow. Soooo not ready to leave. Have enjoyed spending time with the family with no work worries.  Wish we could stay longer.”

Today’s a holiday, so if you are working, stop. Right now. Go outside and find the fun.  Happy Fourth of July, everyone!