The movie August Rush was just on TV. As usual with movies on TV, I missed a huge chunk at the beginning.
I tuned at the point where a committee is informing August that his musical work is going to be performed. And I heard the following exchange [as well as I can remember it]:
How many people will hear it? Hundreds?
Good. Because I need for lots of people to hear it.
Isn't this is what creativity is all about? Sharing our work with an audience.
We self-deprecatingly say that we don't care whether anyone reads our work (or hears our music, or whatever.) Some of us say this, anyway. I can't honestly say it.
It's not true. It shouldn't be true.
If it is true, we aren't making art, or attempting to make art. We're engaged in a narcissistic exercise, or a hobby. Or we're overcome by fear. The fear of looking like a fool.
And because it isn't a narcissistic exercise—and because we don't want to look like a fool—we work and work to make it as good as we can possibly make it. For our own satisfaction, yes. But for the sake of the work itself. Because it's not worth doing if it's not worth doing well. Because we want to enrich people's lives and challenge their thinking with our art.
The impossible dream? Yes.
Tilting at windmills? That's the insanity of art.
Isn't this what movies—and novels—are all about? (The good ones, anyway.) Reaching for the moon, grasping at your dream. And maybe even catching it.
Speaking of the impossible dream, here's a post from the query-letter trenches, On Hope. This post is from Natalie Whipple (and I found it via NathanBransford's blog).
By the way, I don't know how many of you look at labels. Those categories that Blosgspot lets us create for our posts. Well, as you see, I tagged this post Writer's Diary and Writing Life (yawn) and also Love. Because we love our audience and we love our work (on good days) and we love our characters even when nobody else does. And this is why we do it.