I am an emerging fiction writer living in Chicago. While I am a Luddite, I am using the forum because I love to meet new people, especially fellow artists, and learn new things.

Anyone interested in reading my published work can access it through the link under the My Web Site header on this blog. My short story "Life Goes on Without Me" recently won an honorable mention from Conclave: A Journal of Chracter's 2009 Fiction Contest. I am currently working on a novel, new short stories, and a creative non-fiction essay. My friend T.E. Russell has encouraged me to write a screenplay.

And as always, I am still submitting, submitting, submitting.

I look forward to meeting and reading from you.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Exhausted. Artists Are Stronger - We Have To Be.

I have hit the wall. Around 4 p.m. today (CST) I collapsed. I can't do any more work - my novel's outline, grade student work, you name it. Here is a letter I clipped from the New York Times over thirteen years ago. I've reproduced it below from my yellow, dog-eared clipping:

Artists Are Tougher Than Other People

To the Editor:

Dr. Joseph J. Schildkraut describes a link between mental instability and creativity in "Depression and Art" (letter, April 18). But he misses what I believe is a crucial point: the extraordinary day-to-day stresses most artists face. These are caused by, first, the essentially subjective criteria for judging the merit of art, influenced (particularly today) by the whims of fashion; and, second, the virtual absence of the usual rewards, financial or otherwise.

Despite considerable industry and sacrifice (most artists work very hard at what they do), the artist faces continuous blows to the ego by one of another dealer or critic. These criticisms can be difficult to refute because of the relative absence of objective criteria for judging art. They lead even the strongest to self-doubt.

Most of us must look to other sources of income, requiring that we accept low-level, part-time work or a full-time job that leaves no time to make art -- unless we sacrifice relationships with family and friends, so important to all humans for a sense of fulfillment and self-worth.

Barring family resources, the artist is preoccupied with financial worries on a very basic level. Should the artist desire, as most of us do, the marry and have a child, the stresses of work with little or no financial reward increase, and he or she faces the choice of who or what to sacrifice -- children? friends? art?

Society treats artists very poorly -- poorly enough to dissolve the hardiest among humans. One might make a case for the opposite of Dr. Schildkraut's hypothesis -- to put up with all this and still get by, the artist may actually be in some way more stable, mentally or emotionally, than the norm.

Cynthia Eardley
New York, April 25, 1994


Cher said...

Here, here!

Gina said...

LOL. Sounds likebatlet the life of a graphic designer. :D