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Monday, October 09, 2006

Build it, and they will come

Here are a few more thoughts excerpted from Julia Cameron's book, "The Sound of Paper."

"Build it, and they will come" (from the movie) is profound creative advice. It puts the emphasis on process rather than product. It emphasizes the fact that artists lead rather than follow the market. Too often, artists get sidetracked trying to market their work before it is finished. They write book proposals instead of books, screen treatments instead of screenplays. Meanwhile, precious weeks, months and years tick by.

Often, when I advise a writer to write a whole book rather than a proposal, I am greeted with, "But, Julia! I don't want to do all that work for nothing." Be we *never* do all that work for nothing. When we write, we become better writers. When we paint, we become better painters.

When we look for a guarantee of success, we are asking to make risk-free art, and art, by definition, is risky.

Art is a time-consuming process, and in our youth-oriented culture of instant gratification, this is not a popular thing to say.

It is the practice of our art form, and not the marketable product we produce, that warrants us the name artist.

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