I had experienced some pretty good times throughout my childhood and my early adulthood. When we were 15 years old, I helped stage an amateur home video series. There were 6 of us embarking on an artistic journey. We were a pure rip off of the iconic ‘Jackass’. They were the dudes we were looking up to at that age, and there still remains huge level of respect for these guys. They created an empire that spread across the masses.
By age 19, I was re-telling stories in a black journal that I had purchased. I wanted to document all of the stupid, crazy things that we got up to during our partying years. I have considered burning that book on multiple occasions. I think I will be forced to one day, but I’m just going to enjoy it while it lasts.
I took that trip to south East Asia at the end of 2016 and before leaving, I made the commitment to journal every day of my trip. I stuck with it – I was impressed with myself. I have never opened it. I feel as though the memories are far too fresh. I don’t know when I will open it – my intuition will tell me when the time is right. On returning from that trip, it was about a month after getting back home when I had an ‘uh-huh’ moment after answering a huge question that popped up in my head. Why not write your whole life out? So, I began journaling pretty much every single day. I have been doing so for 2 years now.
For me, it is an art form; however it tends to go much deeper than that. Viewing from my lenses of reality, although I’m painting paper with words, I am also painting time in the present and the future. The habit of journaling has completely transformed my approach to life. It’s like, all of my actions and decisions are motivated by the fact that I know I have to come home and write about my day. Moving abroad to embark on this journey was inspired by this motivation to write a good story. If life is my blank canvas, than I want to paint something inspiring.
Slowly, I’m learning more and more about the life as an artist. There are obstacles and I’m learning that it takes a tremendous amount of authenticity, courage and resilience. It’s a tough game and it’s so hard not to get caught up in all of the background noise. This requires deep work. Deep, deliberate work. Since reading the book, ‘The War of Art’ – by Steven Pressfield, I have become aware of what some of these obstacles are; the procrastination, the frustration, the gut wrenching fear.
A quote that has stuck with me since reading Steven Pressfields, ‘The War of Art’ is, “If you were born to overthrow the order of ignorance and injustice of the world, it’s our job to realize it and get down to business”. Pressfield refers to the artist as being one who has been given the responsibility of sharing their work with the world. It is a reference to this notion of self-sacrifice, responsibility and duty – a duty to serve others with the work you have to offer.
If you have something to put out into the world, put it out. I feel as though there is more to this than just expressing oneself through good writing. There is an altruistic stance to be taken here. If the expression of yourself, your imagination, your visions, your ideas and your beliefs can pave way for positive change, then you owe it to the rest of us to put your work out there.