Artistic Freedom?

Is it up to you?

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You never know when a project is ready to publish, but it will be ready at the right moment. It is finished – when edited and checked through and revised many times – and not a moment before. It will be ready, and that’s what counts. With research and following up on the result, it isn’t always easy to do. Thus, there is no reason to wonder that it takes time.

I have often found that the moment it seemed to me that there would be no reason for further research, new questions cropped up, and that started another bout of meticulous investigation. That’s the way it is when you write historical fiction.

The same process when you work on music and songs. You must hone your technique and you must wait for the right situation to emerge. If you force things to happen before they can, you may fall flat on your face. At the end of the day, you take responsibility, and that’s no easy burden. It is always better to wait until you know that you’ve done everything you can. That’s the moment when everything will fall into place.

It requires patience to create wonders. There is always a danger that you’re mistaken and that you’ve overlooked a fatal flaw. If that’s the case, you have two options. You can deny facts, close your eyes, and bulldoze through – or you can face the music and do your worst or best to rectify mistakes, fill plot holes, and make sense of the entire mess you’ve delivered. Never avoid facing the music. It is better to stand firm and wait until everything has reached the point when you know that you’ve done everything possible for your brainchild.

Then you must do as any sensible mother. You must allow your creation to leave and trust it to take on responsibility for its life. That’s a mouthful. There is always a point of no return. Remember that – but don’t despair. Good things come to those who wait. It is simple but hard to believe. Good things will come. In love and any mental or physical process, you can come to that point of knowing that everything is in balance. It may not happen often, but if you endeavour to put your entire knowledge, willpower, passion, and love into your project, it will work out for the best. It is worth waiting for. It is worth striving for. That moment when you know that even if you may not reach perfection, you have reached something worth the time and effort you put into it. It is a punishing and unforgiving path, but walk it, and you will be rewarded. Maybe not with fame and fortune. That’s piffle.

The reward for doing the work is much better than fame and fortune. What is it then? You will know when you get there. It is something that can’t be put into words, but when you experience it, you’ll know. It’s all so simple. Relax, let go, let fly. You must hone your skills, even if you might never reach your goal. You must dare that leap of faith. Then, maybe, you will stand at the pinnacle and know that you achieved the impossible dream.

If you can’t go that distance, you may still get fame and fortune, but it might turn to ash in your mouth. Never be complacent about your art. Do. Don’t let worries or difficulties stop you. They are there for a reason. If you want to forge steel, you must go through fire and water. You must be able to let go of everything to achieve your dream.

Many are happy with less. It’s up to you to decide if reaching your goal or fulfilment is more important. The risk of the commercial route is the risk of being forgotten. To attain simplicity is the hardest of all challenges. It can be done, but you may have to offer your life to arrive. Don’t make me laugh. It is worth every minute, every tear, every period of despair. Keep going, and you’ll understand that the path is the journey. Only you know the direction of that. This is true for the arts, for life, for enlightenment, for anything worthwhile to strive for. If you can understand and accept that, you have taken an important step towards your goal.

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© HMH, 2022

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