Creative Advice

Life Lessons from Amanda Palmer

I can’t get the line of the Ukulele Anthem out of my head. Amanda Palmer sings, “Quit the bitching on your blog, and stop pretending art is hard.” It’s a great song, but something about that line specifically has stuck with me for, like, months.

There’s the song, if you haven’t heard it. Holy fuck, it so fantastic.

The line gave me pause I think because I remember a time when I would have been really angry about it. I would have gone, “Yeah, okay, let’s all pretend this is easy. Right. ARTISTS SUFFER.”

And now I’m like, “She’s right.” Simple as that.

When did art get complicated? When did we look at it as something that is a cause for suffering and anxiety and worry? And not just the occasional “I’m a fraud” kind of worry, but the paralysis of not working on anything, of not doing anything because we’re gripped with indecision. Because we are obsessed with the questions of “who will even read this?” or “why would the world even want this?”

At some point, I think I just got tired of constantly not doing things. Or, worse, taking all the precious time I had to make those things and instead griping about how difficult it was.

So I quit bitching. I quit pretending that everything had to be polished and perfect. I just made shit. I’m still making shit. It’s awesome.

Try it. It may save your life.

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