It takes great courage — guts — to be a creative artist. It is a fearful thing to do and requires enormous commitment, dedication and willingness to stare down all manner of demons.

You pour your heart into a piece of music. You prepare yourself, your body, your voice, your heart and your mind and pour it into a song or a piece, working on it until it is a jewel, shining in multi facets, and you offer it to the world in a pubic performance, only to have hardly anyone show up, or people show up and give you a luke-warm reception, or someone reviews it and cuts it to ribbons. You can want to jump out the window, and all other artists would understand.

So, along the way, you can develop ways to protect yourself. You can find ways to hide, even without realizing it. You might call it something else, you might even believe it is just a good comfortable place that you’ve finally found where you can have some relief. That, sadly, can be a trap.

All artists face the possibility of becoming stuck in their own patterns, even if the patterns (when they were new) were very good ones. If an artist becomes predictable, he or she is in trouble. Worse, if an artist is re-visiting different versions of the same old same old, or variations on a recurring theme, the world begins to notice, even if the artist does not. “Finding your own truth” and “being yourself” can easily become “old hat” and “there’s that pattern again” and if your audience is paying attention and notices………uh oh.

Beware “this is how I do it”, “this is my style”, “this is what I am known for” and other such states of mind. Spiritually speaking, there is no “I”. Your function as an artist is to create. Period. Your “identity” in that creating is of no consequence. Hard to grasp but true. To create this way you must at least try, from time to time, to begin without necessarily understanding before the fact what the end product will be. If you do not do that, you will end up hiding (from yourself and from the next most creative thing you could discover). You will stagnate, and the spark inside will grow dim or maybe even go away entirely. In the end, the only answer is to gather your courage, plunge into the unknown and take your chances. GUTS, folks. It takes guts.

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