Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Greatest (says who?!)

I love music, and I'm especially interested in watching videos of or listening to tracks of great musicians (e.g. vocals, bass, drums, guitar). What also interests me is the discussions about who is the greatest in a certain element. Take drums for example. Some people look primarily for speed, some for finesse, some for raw power, some for changes in rhythm, & some for any combination of the above--or more (placing different levels of importance on each). As I'm sure you'd guess, there are often heated (and, sadly, insulting) debates that ensue because each person comes in to the discussion insisting that their criteria are the ones to go by.

As one writer among a sea of writers with varying levels of skill and experience, I no doubt would be assessed by 100 different readers with almost as many differing opinions as to the quality of my work, and whether it's entertaining, significant, and so on. I always get encouraged when I read of now legendary authors who were once told they should pursue another profession. I would imagine that some now legendary musicians were told the same thing at some point. But these artists found their niche, and the world is richer for that.

I'm certainly not waiting for legendary status to be bestowed upon me, but I hope that any of you in the creative arts, who have been told by some critic to pursue another vocation or avocation, will not give up on your dream too easily--if you are truly led to keep writing or singing or whatever. This list by Rolling Stone of the 100 greatest singers includes some people that, if considered purely technically, don't have the greatest voices. But they bring something that people love. Maybe your writing (or singing, etc) or mine wouldn't always make Messrs. Strunk or White happy, but don't let that alone stop you. If even a few readers get something out of it, that's enough. And, who knows, maybe more will follow.

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