A Portrait Of The Artist As An Anxious Man

I imagine many folks enjoy art in itself. Maybe it takes their breath away. Maybe it shocks their bourgeois sensibilities. However art affects them, they move on—back to their families, 401k’s and streaming video subscriptions.

Against reason I’m driven to create my own art—a gratifying but often frustrating endeavor. Sure, I’ve been proud of a poem or essay here or there, but when I step back to judge my oeuvre against established writers I’m thoroughly unimpressed.

This is probably my depression speaking. To combat a severe lack of confidence my therapist has me on a new drug called Self-Esteem, a generic form of Empowerment. I’m still learning how to take it. Everyone—the most recent psychological literature suggests—has the same intrinsic value. This includes me apparently, but it takes four to six weeks before my gut fully absorbs the concept.

Perhaps my hesitant nature—an inability to assume a position of strength, to let words flow beyond my control—bolsters my writing. A deep consideration of language might constitute a conscious ethical choice. My ideas, unsure of themselves, reflecting the anxious tone of my unique artistic presence. Mastery of an uncertain craft.

From (and against) a place of fear and pathological aversion to criticism I put pen to paper and begin anyway. To reluctantly own myself, to inscribe my name in doubt: the mark of not just a struggling artist but a deeply conflicted human being.

One thought on “A Portrait Of The Artist As An Anxious Man

  1. sonjiroi January 14, 2016 / 10:09 am

    You know how some folks have a favorite song? That one song, they it play over and over. It makes them feel a certain way-every time! It may have been an occasion or event or moment in time that sparks your emotions and puts you in the zone each time. I used to play this one song over and over again. It made me miserable. It was the reason for my downfall. It was a song of depression! Until one day I decided to change the song. Not only did I change that song, but I changed my genre of music! I let go of the old and embraced the new. You are definitely a good literary artist. You should literally travel the world and write new(literary) songs! I would listen!!! “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”


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