Getting to know my artist and its convictions

My artist is writerly and enjoys sophistication, hope, sincerity, solitude, and the intimacy of small, thoughtful groups.

My artist has clear influences: the vulnerability and heart of Brené Brown, the entrepreneurialism and distinction of Seth Godin, the whimsical craft of Austin Kleon, and the cultural grounding of Bo Burnham.

But my artist is not them.

My artist is unique to itself.

This uniqueness must be nourished and accepted without compromise to live the fullest, most contributing expression of my life.

Nourishment involves constant experimentation.

Its affinities manifested through this iterative process include the love found in the writing of E.B. White, the curiosity of Krista Tippett, the collective shame of adolescence, and the authenticity of Thoreau.

It is not drawn to others’ poetry because of the time it takes to decipher the abstraction, the negativity found in the writing of Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the manipulation found in books about selling and business.

I don’t know what we should be doing with our time.

If I were to guess, I’d say figuring out what it means to live a good life, advance truth, and discover what’s fulfilling.

In sum, to understand wisdom, love, and happiness.

This is antithetical to the idea of focusing on how to get ahead of others, how to take advantage of them, and how to compete.

It’s better to fail in a career and be true to yourself and kind to others than to reach the heights of institutional success by abandoning your values and being selfish and manipulative.

Work hard. Stand in your conviction. And don’t be afraid.