That’s what this calling is
People, I am reading fiction again, and it is the best.
It’s not necessarily the best fiction, I just forgot how nice it is to get wrapped up in a story and not care that your inbox is becoming cluttered or that the dishes are piling up or that you’ll get an hour less sleep, all because you’d rather be reading. Reading takes priority over mostly everything else. It’s wonderful.
*Let’s pause to note that shortly after the above, I decided that reading took priority over writing this post, and read for another 30 minutes before going to bed.
I bought Someday, Someday, Maybe out of devotion to Lauren Graham. (I also restarted Gilmore Girls over the weekend, so it’s basically all-Lauren-all-the-time over here.) It’s feel-good fiction that doesn’t require a thorough analyzation of each page, which is what I needed in a book right now. This quote, though, stood out far and above the rest. It’s given in the context of theater/acting, but I think it extends beyond that:
“Don’t forget the goals you had for yourself. It’s so easy to give in to a paycheck but if you aren’t doing work that feeds you and feeds the audience you’re only contributing to the worst in us as a society. We need to see the human condition reflected by artists – that’s what this calling is.”
As someone who works in social media, this rings true to me. All it takes is a quick scroll through Twitter to see that a lot of people are producing content for the sake of producing content. There’s no substance, just words. It’s an easy trap to fall into when there are 24 hours in a day in which people are consuming media but only 8(ish) in which to produce media.
But as an artist – and even just as a human – that truth rings even louder. How much of what I create isn’t necessarily for a paycheck, but is just enough to get by so I don’t have to do the hard work of reflecting the human condition? Isn’t that contributing to the worst in us as a society – reflecting an image that is shallow but pretty, easy but not completely true?
Timely example: the first draft of this post was about banana bread. Banana bread. And while it was a great recipe (found here – add cinnamon), and there is plenty of room to share posts about banana bread on a blog about all of life, it was not anything close to what I knew I could write about if I actually wanted to write.
This post is closer, but still a little bit off the mark.
My current human condition is the need to leave for work
5 minutes ago and to post this without a conclusion, because I don’t have one quite yet. Feel free to add your own in the comments.