Risk Taking

I just got back from an international film festival in Las Vegas. Okay, so I didn’t just watch films. I spent a few minutes in front of a slot machine. Or maybe that was a few hours. I’ve conveniently forgotten, I think. Whatever the case, I risked a dime or two on the penny slots and a chip or two at the Black Jack table where I refused to listen to the dealer and hold when I had 16 showing. You’re supposed to listen to the dealer but I have this problem with directions. That’s why my sweetbreads often fail. (I refuse to follow a recipe.) Same reason why I don’t sew. It’s something about patterns. The truth is, lots of artists think this way. Artists have a need to discover their own way through life. Even the menial parts. It’s part of our make-up and it disguises a greater drive to create. There is nothing grander to an artist than creating something from nothing. The moment when one stands back and sees a work of art that was a mere pile of clay or a blank piece of paper days before. The process of taking a thought and creating a finished product is challenging to say the least. Writers in particular often find inspiration in a single moment and build an entire story around that moment. Or have a beginning of a story and sit down with pen in hand with no idea where it will lead them. Or start with in inkling of an ending with an open road how to get there. Oddly to an artist the status quo takes comfort in sticking to the map where a wrong turn might lead to the unpredictable. The artist risks the unpredictable and knows that mistakes are nothing more than insights into creative solutions. So when you find yourself in front of your computer racking your brain trying to find that perfect plot for your next play, forget about it. Take a risk by writing one line. Any line will do. And see where it takes you.

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