Monday, February 15, 2010

About being a fraud, or a fool, or both

Being the night owl, I'm still on Valentine's Day time, even though it's officially the 15th. I don't get philosophical here very often (even though I'm a real navel-gazer in real life) but a friend sent me a link to a blog that sent me off on a wee tangent. So here's a pretty entertaining write-up on No One Knows WTF They're Doing, and here was my email back to my friend (with slight modifications) —

I always felt like a fraud when I was working as an engineer; I never got over that and I didn't want to continue feeling like that. As an artist, I don't feel like a fraud, but I also know that there's no way that I can know that I'm not a bad artist. (Steve M and I just had this conversation actually, yesterday.)

The difference, I guess, is being comfortable with being an artist, even if it means I was a bad one. I'm willing to put myself out there and make a fool of myself, because it's worth it. But being a bad engineer, it's not worth making a fool of myself for that. (Although, it can also be argued, following the thinking of the original blog that Jo sent, being a bad artist is not so dangerous to others, in most cases, so maybe that makes it easier...)

I guess it's like being in love with someone, you love them enough, you put yourself out there for that person even if it means making a fool of yourself.

On that note, hope you all had a wonderful Valentines Day!


Sally Charette said...

Thanks for sharing this. It's like this with most creative endeavors, I suspect. We all have our moments of feeling like a fraud.

I've been working on a memoir (though who knows why anyone would want to read about my life...oh, there I go again) and sometimes the stuff I think is the most hackneyed because I've thought it so often turns out the be the stuff that my critiquers find the most compelling. So go figure.

Thanks for putting yourself out there on that limb. It's terrific to get a peek into the view from up there.

gl. said...

"being a bad artist is not so dangerous to others"

ha ha ha ha! yes, i definitely feel better about artistic pursuits now. i had a job that made me so mad most of the time i finally had to remind myself that no matter what happened, nobody was going to die, so i should just let it go.