IT’S NOT FOR YOU

IT’S NOT FOR YOU

For a long while now, I’ve been trying to figure out why certain works of art (and poetry) speak so strongly and most others don’t.  I am thinking that it could be the ones that shout out loud really are attempts by the artist to actually say something Real.

What makes it Real is the courageous, open connection and access to the artist’s heart, it seems.  A lot of times we shy away from being that exposed…and maybe that’s why the work we do only mumbles.

Entrepreneur Seth Godin once said, “As soon as you’re willing to say ‘It’s not for you,’ you’re freed up to make art.”

What he’s pointing out, I think, is that if you try to make something that “everybody” will like, something that will not offend or disturb or otherwise ruffle feathers, you are probably compromising your art.

You’re taking the nickel bet, churning out lots of little bits of meaningless stuff that most people will feel lukewarm about rather than aiming for a heart-grab that squeezes your own heart just as much as it squeezes your reader’s … one that actually means something to you and to the person with whom it resonates deeply.

The thing is, doing that means you have to shoot from your heart…and you know that’s going to hurt.

So you waffle and  you winge and you compromise and you piddle away the juice and it all turns wishy-washy.  Pfui!

NEW RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

  • Make what you love as best as you know how and use what you learn from that to get better at it.
  • Have the courage to follow your instincts and your intuition even if they take you way, way out of your comfort zone.
  • Take the risks you need to take to speak with your truest voice.
  • Stand up for your work when you must and push back at the fears that eat at you (A-A-A-A-H! Nobody’s gonna like it.  Everybody’s gonna hate it!  A-A-A-A-H!  I’m gonna have to eat Worms!  Argh!)
  • Turn it loose and let it fly or limp or lurch or whatever the heck it wants to do.

Do that over and over.  Your audience WILL find you and they’re gonna love you (or possibly hate you).  They will not go to sleep, however.

On to the poem:


ATTACK OF THE INNER BITCH

I am a sweetie-pie,

Really I am.

See my saccharine face?

It’s all overflowing with

The godawfullest sweetness and light.

I am sweeter than Krispy Kremes,

You bet.

 

But, I gotta tell ya…

There’s this voice that comes:

The motormouth in my head,

The one that revs whenever

Someone comes all over “poor-t’ing me,”

And this is what that bitch says:

 

Yeah, yeah, yeah…

You are a precious and unique being…

One in seven billion and counting

And, yeah, you are in distress.

But, I gotta tell ya, babe,

You are trying my patience.

The histrionics that accompany

Your latest tale of woe-some-mo’…

Well, they bore me.

 

All that cryin’ and wailin’

Get in the way of working

Toward better solutions and resolves.

All that moaning

Trivializes your ordeal.

AND, it is giving me a headache!

 

Frankly, I ain’t got the time.

On a scale from one to ten,

In my world, your hell that’s playing itself out

In this here slice of heaven rates about a 1.5.

I mean, come on…

I only have the standard issue

31 million, 536 thousand seconds

Allotted to me every year, ya know.

Get on with it, get over it, or get it away from me….

 

Your choice.

By Netta Kanoho

photo credit:  by Joi Ito via Wikimedia Commons [CC BY 2.0]

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20 thoughts on “IT’S NOT FOR YOU

  1. VERY true, I must always remember to really be myself even if others think poorly of me. I know some people will love me for being me, and others will hate me for being me. No one should compromise themselves in order to please everyone.

  2. Hi,
    I loved your post, and it’s so true. I’m an artist and I feel free when I follow my heart without any expectations, without trying hard to create… but just being in the moment with me and my creation. It feels good to read this post, hope it reaches more people. Good luck to you!

    1. Thanks for visiting, Sandy. It really is an important concept and the freedom it gives you is massive! Good luck with your own creating. Keep on….

      Best,

      Netta

  3. Your sense of speaking through your words is very powerful. I definitely agree words not said, are words lost which have the power to convey meaning with much more sentimental value.

    By the way poem you have written here is great. Speaks volumes of how inner feelings can influence what’s happening on the outside.

    Great post.

    1. Thank you Jagi for the comment and the visit…

      Best,

      Netta

  4. I enjoyed reading article about being “you” as much as possible to attract appreciation to your art. I am all-to-familiar with this when song-writing, and I think, “oh boy- who is going to listen to this whiny stuff?!” and then I hold back and/or stop writing altogether. This really needs to change for me, so I want to thank you for your inspiration! I love your poem, “Inner Bitch”. The theme that I gather from it is that it would be nice to be sweet all the time, but we only have so much time and energy to give out, right?! LOL. Thanks for posting!

    1. Hey Ciara:

      Thank you for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I’m so glad you enjoyed it!  Please do come again….

  5. Wealthfather says:

    This was such a detailed and well written article about life generally  that I actually read it twice to be sure that I completely understood all of the reasons why you decided to write such a lovely article.  Well, that view of yours was 100% justified. The best thing you can do to yourself in life is to follow your hear irregardless of the situation at hand.

    thanks for your indepth analysis

    1. Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I do appreciate it.   

      Please do come again….

  6. I absolutely agree with this poem you wrote. Many times, we always seek some kind of acknowledgement from people when we do what we can.

    As I evolve everyday, I’ve learnt to be myself and do my best irrespective of commendations or criticism I get. On the whole, I’m a more confident and stable person now.

    Keep up the good work, I love your art.

    1. Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, Louis.  The need for approval from other people can really cramp your style.  When you know the best you can do is the best you can do — regardless of whether the people around you like it or not, it does add stability and confidence to your walk.  

      Please do come again….

  7. phranell86 says:

    Sometimes, it takes more than the average mind to truly appreciate a work of art or literature. I am a graphic artist myself and I know that some of my art pieces don’t strike a chord in some persons, while others are quick to grasp what I’m trying to express. Great artists like Pablo Picasso were not appreciated in their lifetime. Some were even severely criticized, but in the end, what matters is the message you are trying to pass across. I always strive to be unique in whatever I do. Adopting the conformist attitude sometimes stifles creativity – I can deduce this from your poem “It’s Not For You”

    1. Thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts, phranell86.  It’s a grand realization that true creativity is not found in conformity.  Hive-mind doesn’t work so well for us humans, it seems.

      Please do come again.

  8. radeetalam says:

    Hi Netta,

    It was really a nice poem. I am fully agreed with it. We should do whatever our heart says. We should not change ourselves for other. Whoever we are, there will always be some people who can be referred as haters. But, there are many people who love the way we are. So, we should surround ourselves with them who love us, not those few people who do not understand us.

    Really a life inspiring poem. Thank you so much Netta for sharing. 🙂

    Radeet

    1. Radeet, I do thank you for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  Surrounding yourself with the people who love you is probably the best strategy for dealing with the haters in the world.  

      Please do come again.

  9. Sukumar Thingom says:

    Yes, art is indeed about straying off the beaten track. And I agree that when a work does not evoke shock, amazement or even embarrassment, it’s not art. I can relate to what you’re saying more in the music world. With his audacious sense of fashion (that leaned towards being gaudy), Prince shocked the world his theatrics and musicianship. He was an artist in the truest sense of the word, who sadly, was discovered by many people after his death. Hope I did not sound like straying off the topic. What I meant was in the world of art, away-from-the-norm is the norm. Loved your poem.

    1. Sukumar, I do thank you for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I, too, was saddened by Prince’s passing.  He was magnificent!

      I’m not sure that art HAS to be shocking or amazing or embarrassing.  It just has to be YOU — your voice, your eyes, your heart.  

      My own feeling is that any art that moves other hearts and minds is good, but good art only happens when it grows out of the artist’s own truth.  

      Good art is a gift to the world from the artist, it’s been said.  The best art is a gift from the artist’s own truth and the artist’s own heart.

      How else are the rest of us going to make any kind of sense of this confusing world?

      Quiet people who are not particularly dramatic or histrionic can make lovely art that reminds you of the sweetness of life.  They allow you to rest in peacefulness.  That is their art….and their work can shout as loud as the ones whose style is livelier and who pump up the volume.  

      My point is, I think, is that it’s best to do you without worrying so much about how others will take it.

  10. Poetry is the life span. It is said that it can kill people who do not love poetry and flowers. Through poetry, we practice sentimentality. The article opens a new horizon of poetry. Poetry is something that the general public does not write about. I congratulate Netta for her beautiful poetry and enlightening article.

    1. Ranao, I do thank you for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I appreciate it.  

      I like your thought that poetry is “the life span.”  A truth, that.  Poetry and making stories speaks best heart-to-heart and adds a lot to living.

      Please do come again….

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