The curse of the artist

There are days when I allow myself the luxury of looking out of the window and making sure that the day seems a bit more gray than it really is. I am invaded by doubt, by lack of faith, and by a feeling of stagnation. It’s okay, it’s just something I even consider healthy; one day out of a hundred that helps me to take perspective, and understand in a more profound way, what it means to aspire to live on writing.

In those moments, I also take the opportunity to feel hopeless and insubstantial, despite always going to bed having learned a couple of new things about what makes me move towards that dream. Anyways, by dawn, that feeling will have passed.

On days like these, I always remember my older brother, Juan. If there is any solid statement about him that is clear to me, it is that he has the gift of patience and perseverance, which is something that I have been lacking for many years. I have seen my brother create, and create, to try opening his own path in the world of music, but not just of any kind, but of what he loves. “The way in which he feels he has to live, the only reasonable one”, as David Beriain said–to receive disappointments and, in spite of everything, to continue going through a job that does not excite him, believing that sooner or later he will achieve his true purpose.

I have never seen a trace of depression in him, although, he has certainly gone through hard times. He just went through it without stopping, without faltering, to my greatest admiration. And he did it because, in all likelihood, he felt the resignation of one who knows that he could not live in any other possible way.

Finally, his time arrived, and my brother achieved something compelling and beautiful: he does not work exactly as a musician, but he uses his musical skills in his work for television series, and his own pipes as a voice actor. He works a good number of hours, but he looks happy, and most importantly, he seems to have achieved something that every artist yearns for: to feel that everything you create matters–that what you do is useful, because it is YOU, your skills and what you ARE capable of creating is what is necessary for the job to pull through.

It’s funny how sometimes we just imagine a way to achieve things, until the definitive one appears; normally, something one had not thought of before. And then one looks back, and we realize that the path we just have tread, so dodgy and strange, as it seemed to us, becomes the most reasonable one.

Every time I write a paragraph, every time I learn something new or finish a novel, I can’t help but think about how much I hope that day will come soon for me, too. I have my heart and soul full of stories waiting to be sent out there, one way or another. How much I long for that day to come, when I can live on writing, and transmit to the world everything that I have inside–reaching many people, serving to inspire others, helping them become better people, and at the same time seeing myself grow as an artist.

While I wait for that, I will keep writing, I will keep composing music, I will keep creating things. I will keep moving forward, because only those who keep walking, working hard and making “noise” are the ones who finally reach their goals. I do not do this because I am confident of myself, or because I believe of myself as a diamond in the rough; it is not even by absolute conviction, but by an honest resignation that scratches on negligence: I am just incapable of leaving my art. If I did, it would be my only death. Through the things I have created, I will live forever.

Maybe that thing I’m fighting for will never come. And I would not be the first one to suffer that fate. I suppose this is the ultimate fear of any artist, although it is also the point from which all of those who have gone somewhere have started from: the terror in thinking that all that you have to give to the world is, in fact, worthless–or that there is nobody who will accept it. Whether or not it is the case, in the end, the result is irrelevant. I am condemned to the joyful chore of creating new worlds every day. It is not a bad curse, although it could always get better.