I have a younger brother, and though age separates us by 9 years, we are very close. Through conversations that we have had recently I have noticed that my brother is reaching the stage in his life in which he is waking to the true nature of our society, and it is safe to say that he does not like it.
I can’t blame him, when I was his age, I went through the same thing. You see, my brother is a creative, an artist and often times artist are misunderstood, overlooked, under appreciated and not always fully taken seriously. This in response creates a shadow of doubt that looms over the creative like a dark cloud. For my brother this manifest as frustration and confusion. His particular art is music, and he cannot understand why his music does not get the attention that it deserves, not only that but the attention and approval he is seeking, is not even from a wider audience, its from his close circle of friends who one would expect to become his first fans. And thus the world awakes, and my brother sees truly for the first time that what should be, rarely is. What’s funny about it all, is that my brother is really good at what he does, which only confuses him further as to why he does not receive adequate support.
Life is unfair and the whole world is irrational.
I understand how my brother feels, even more than he knows, and primarily for two reasons; 1. Because I am his brother, we share the same exact genealogical history, for all intents and purposes with the exception of the evidence of a very through and in-depth DNA analysis, we are the same person. 2. Because I am too a creative and I know all too well the feeling of being misunderstood, overlooked, under appreciated and not fully taken seriously. The shadow of self doubt looms over me as well, but unlike my brother I have had time to come accustomed to my shadow and while I am not fully immune to its effects, I find it much less frustrating and confusing then he does.
I have learned what my brother will soon find out for himself, that in order for a creative to remain a creative, keep his/her sanity intact and at the same time not be completely consumed and devoured by their shadow, they cannot create for the approval of others, not even their closest friends. My brother must create music for himself, because he loves to create music. I must write for myself, because I love to write and tell stories. Do I want someone to read my stories, to like them? Yes, but that must be secondary, that must be a symptom of my writing not the cause. One cannot create simply for the approval of another, it will drive you mad. A creative must create for the creative. I think once my brother learns that, everything else will be okay.
I’ve posted one of my favorite songs from my brother Here it’s called “So Bad” and features this crazy Beatles sample. You gotta hear it!