You have no doubt heard this villanelle, it is considered to be among the finest works by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.
I’ve always loved his writing and I find it is appropriate for this post.
It’s expressive idea is the desire and even need to fight with all of one’s life against the spectre of death.
That no matter what walk of life we come from, that shadow is always present and close at hand.
That it is a bond we all share as human beings and from which we should struggle against it regardless of the futility.
There is another shadow that lurks in the hearts of creatives. A fear, a doubt, a frustrated apathy that makes one feel like a sham, a fake and an untalented poser.
If you have ever tried to be creative, especially for a living, you have felt this.
I have felt this. BIG TIME.
I am not naive enough to believe that this feeling will ever pass permanently. It is a major element towards keeping the truly determined creatives in the game while pushing the less ambitious to other venues.
It is a scary, daunting, lonely and hopeless feeling in it’s full form.
It can cripple a creatives mind completely.
It has no conscious. It has no morality. It is an act of nature with no more malice for you than it does remorse for what it does to you.
But I can promise you one thing.
If you stay in the game, if you keep learning, keep practicing, keep working at your craft.
I promise you will be evolving creatively.
I can’t promise that you will be rich or famous or recognized by your peers. I can’t promise that you will be greeted on the streets by friends and fans for your outstanding work or offered multi-international deals from the biggest conglomerates to work with the brightest stars.
I will promise that you will be doing what you love.
I will promise that you will get better and better at it.
I will promise you that when that doubt slips into your mind, it’s okay to take some time off.
Go lie down, watch some tv, whatever, because you are putting your time in when it counts.
But always get back to it, it whatever form or scale you can.
Keep doing this and I promise that you will be the creative you want to be within if not without.
You are working it out. You are learning your craft. You are making it your own.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.