Growing up, I was always into art. I loved to draw and write, among other things. For a long time, however, I thought of these activities only as hobbies. It wasn’t until I was well into college that I started seriously considering being a novelist. Even then, it wasn’t until I was studying for the bar exam (years after undergrad) that I finished the first draft of a manuscript.
The main reason it took so long for me to come around was fear: the fear of failure; the fear of ridicule. How could I possibly succeed where so many fail? Art is subjective–the chances you’ll be recognized as good or entertaining are slim.
So, why am I trying now? Why do so many unestablished artists still practice their craft and lay out their work to be scrutinized? It’s because our courage is at a point where it outweighs our fear (some people are lucky and/or awesome, and reach this point much earlier in life).
While I try to write a scoff-resistant agent query, it’s a safe bet that most agents who see it will either send me a form rejection or not bother responding at all. Still, I try. Still, we all try. As Eddard Stark from A Game of Thrones says, “the only time a man can be brave [is when he is afraid].”
Be brave, baby artists. The earlier, the better (well, assuming you don’t drag your own name through the mud with half-assery).
I was inspired to write this entry after having read a fellow blogger’s post, “The Other Side of the Fence…” in which Ms. ked (for lack of known surname) discusses the tendency for (high school) folks to rag on their peers who pursue art (e.g., singing, acting, writing, etc.).