Excerpt from Duma Key by Stephen King:
How to Draw a Picture (Part 3)
Stay hungry. It worked for Michelangelo, it worked for Picasso, and it works for a hundred thousand artists who do it not for love (although that might play a part) but in order to put food on the table. If you want to translate the world, you need to use your appetites. Does this surprise you? It shouldn’t. There’s no creation without talent, I give you that, but talent is cheap. Talent goes begging. Hunger is the piston of art.
For those of you who are blessed (or cursed, depending on your perspective) with the desire to create, what drives that desire? What do you hunger for?
It is the ultimate luxury to be able to make a living doing something you love. Sure, there are parts of every job one might consider drudgery, but such is life.
As I’ve mentioned, I am a painter. And while I can’t say with a straight face that it’s a living, it is a job I love. While I certainly utilize my creativity in my work, most projects are hardly art. Murals are the exception to this, but they do not represent the majority of my work.
I often hear leaders in business and ministry stress that you should not take criticism or rejection personally. While I agree with that to a certain degree, I guess I’m hard wired to believe differently.
How can you pour your heart into a creative endeavor – writing, creating music, painting, poetry, etc., and then NOT take it personally when your work is criticized or rejected? Especially when it is rejected by the so called experts?
I’m learning only the bravest of souls dare to subject themselves to this type of abuse.
Hunger is indeed the piston of art.
I still don’t dare consider myself any type of serious writer, and my limited exposure to the world of publishing has temporarily put any personal aspirations on hold. But then I remember one of my favorite quotes, and it gives me a bit of courage. Hope it does the same for you.
“What you really have to do, if you want to be creative, is to unlearn all the teasing and censoring that you’ve experienced throughout your life. If you are truly a creative person, you know that feeling insecure and lonely is par for the course. You can’t have it both ways: You can’t be creative and conform, too. You have to recognize that what makes you different also makes you creative.”
– Arno Penzias, 1978 Nobel Prize winner for physics