Mar 132006
 

You have to separate real musicians from fakes. What everybody knows about real musicians (or artists) is:

• they always make their art regardless of circumstances
• they spend all of their day making music
• they are passionate, dramatic and chaotic
• they never tend to things like houswork, laundry or finances

Okay, I lost. But wait! In spite of what everybody knows, the lifes of real, official artists often look quite different. I don’t know about musicians, because they rarely write blogs, but writers seem to have problems finding time to write, too. Even without a day job. Even people like Neil Gaiman, C.J. Cherryh, or Caitlín Kiernan.
I love artist’s blogs, because you can see other people have difficulties too, when they try to do their taxes and write their novel the same day. And writing isn’t even loud. You can write on planes (not comfortably, maybe), but try it with singing.

So I read “The Artist’s Way” and was really relieved that other artist are able to do their own laundry as well. That a longing for peace and tidiness doesn’t mean you’re a square, but that a little quiet time at home may be beneficial to the making of art.

And what happened? My mother told me of some acquaintances and said,

“They are quite unorganized. That’s because they’re artists.”

Me: “But Mommy, I’m an artist too, and I don’t have problems with my appointments.”

Short silence, while I feel like my son when I’m saying “Of course you’re a fire fighter!”

Then she said, “But you’re a down-to-earth person.”

Am I?

Isn’t it nice to have it all explained so clearly?

  4 Responses to “So what’s a real musician?”

  1. How refreshing to read about another musician struggling with home and family. I am a singer/songwriter and artist/educator who has raised a family of three children ranging in age from 30 – 15 and is now raising my 2 year old grandaughter. I am truly a “real” musician doing laundry, changing diapers, cooking, cleaning, and still squeezing in time to write, though not everyday. I sing at home to my family about going potty, doing chores, and whatever we’re doing at the time – a “real” songwriter. I went to a songwriting workshop given by Janis Ian who spoke of the importance of writing about everyday things and writing every day to hone your skills and train yourself to write on command. What great advice!

  2. How refreshing to read about another musician struggling with home and family. I am a singer/songwriter and artist/educator who has raised a family of three children ranging in age from 30 – 15 and is now raising my 2 year old grandaughter. I am truly a “real” musician doing laundry, changing diapers, cooking, cleaning, and still squeezing in time to write, though not everyday. I sing at home to my family about going potty, doing chores, and whatever we’re doing at the time – a “real” songwriter. I went to a songwriting workshop given by Janis Ian who spoke of the importance of writing about everyday things and writing every day to hone your skills and train yourself to write on command. What great advice!

  3. When my second child was a baby and I had a toddler and a newborn in the house, I really saw my emotional reaction to food at work. I distinctly remember attacking a tray of frosted chocolate brownies as the cries around me tested my patience and sanity in ways that they’ve never been tested before.

    Recently I stopped drinking wine on weeknights because I saw that it was another crutch for me. I felt myself LONGING for the magic hour of 5:00 when I could pour my first glass of cabernet. I decided that it wasn’t healthy or necessary to drink 2-3 glasses of wine every night.

    But sometimes I wonder if I’m torturing myself needlessly by denying myself this pleasure. But I just didn’t like how *addicted* to it I was becoming.

    It took about a month but now I’m used to not having wine at night and I do feel better and have more energy. My stress level is about the same. I don’t think the wine was actually helping me to relax like I thought it was.

    Sorry for the long post!

  4. Thank you for commenting.

    For me it’s the same. I’m eating for emotional reasons, the emotions don’t change much, the weight stays.

    The food helps a little, that’s why I’m eating it. It brings relaxation and calmness. But it’s not lasting.

    The same goes for the wine and beer. I reduced that too. And I’m having more energy for it.

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