I’ve never felt inclined to do anything I’m “supposed” to do. “Supposed to” meaning it’s not coming from me, but from somewhere or someone else.
I believe a lot of Artists fall into this trap. I’m a painter, I’m “supposed” to paint. I’m an actor, I’m “supposed” to try to get casted. I’m a musician, I’m “supposed” to eat, sleep, and breathe music.
The problem is one of over-identification. We stop knowing when our painting, acting, and music-ing is coming from a deep, true place inside of us, and when it is coming from what we believe is expected of us.
If you’re reading this and you’re someone who’s never felt that your Art was not naturally emerging from a place deep within yourself, unaffected by all external forces, then feel free to ignore this entry. I can’t pretend to know anything about you or your creative process.
I’ve always, and still do, rebelled against any notion that all Artists are these unstoppable forces who hold some kind of impenetrable compass that never fails to guide them in the direction of their creative star. If you’re stuck, you must be lazy. If you’re not producing, you’re not productive. If you don’t know exactly where you’re going, you’re misguided and you need a reality check.
If I’m going to write, or play, or create anything at all, I’ll do it because it damn well pleases me. I’ll do it because there’s nothing I’d rather do. I’ll do it because I’m compelled. Call me lazy, call me nonproductive, call me a poser. Go ahead, call me anything but an Artist.
Do it, why? Because I’m supposed to? No, thank you.