Our job as artists has two phases:
-unplugging for creation
-then plugging back in for sharing
We must constantly oscillate between the two actions to keep our ship afloat.
For some, the process of unplugging is painful; extroverts hate to be pulled away from their stimuli- their friends, their adventures. Sitting down and writing a script can be very painful and lonely for an extroverted artist.
For introverts, plugging into the network and sharing their work is painful. It’s tough to put yourself out there. Introverts fear people may not want to see their work, or may not appreciate it.
But, of course, without sharing, our work is created in a void for us and only us. We never get real world input on our ideas. We never get to see how our work impacts others. And worst of all, we don’t stand a chance of making money from our work, as people can’t pay for something you never get to see.
Likewise, without the deep concentration and intense focus that comes from unplugging, artists are unlikely to ever achieve the quality or volume of work that is necessary to stand out in the marketplace.
Both steps of this process can be as difficult or as easy as we want to make it. But the fact of the matter remains: both “plugging in” and “unplugging” are necessary evils.
It’s important for us artists to stop begrudging either step of this two-fold process- it has always been this way and will always be this way. Even very famous artists, who have publicists and agents representing them, must engage with the public at some point- they must put a face to the work and speak to the press.
Likewise, even the most media-savvy, digitally-connected artists need time away from the noise to think about their next book/film/work.
Plug-in, unplug, plug-in again.
We need start embracing these as two sides of the same coin. And we need to be nimble enough to move back and forth between the two, remaining lucid enough to know when we have spent too much time in one phase and we need to move to the next.
I’m unplugging right now if you haven’t guessed it. But I look forward to connecting with you…later.