The Artist’s Road is, put simply, an ongoing conversation regarding the challenges and rewards of pursuing an art-committed life.
In the summer of 2010 I traveled across the United States, interviewing on camera more than forty artists in more than thirty states. They were creative writers, painters, actors, musicians, photographers, oral storytellers, anything you can imagine. I wanted to capture their thoughts on artists’ rights for a non-profit advocacy group I was running at the time, but I also was driven by a profound curiosity about what makes creative people tick. What do creatives have in common? What choices do they make in life that others of us are not brave enough to attempt? How do they stay on the path of an art-committed life, a path that is so easy to avoid?
The questions were personal for me, a creative who had strayed from the path of an art-committed life. I learned a lot about those artists during those long weeks of driving, and a fair amount about myself. I learned I needed to recommit to my muse.
So in the fall of 2010 I committed myself to growing as a creative writer. I started a Twitter account, @PatrickRwrites, so I could connect with those who shared my passion for everything creative. And I started The Artist’s Road blog as a vehicle to pass on wisdom from the creatives I interviewed that I hadn’t been able to include in the five-minute films I had produced.
But the blog has become much more than that. It allows me to hold myself to the commitment of an artful life by chronicling the further steps I’ve taken to return to creativity. By sharing each step down this road, I am making myself accountable not just to the creative me but to all of the blog’s creative readers.
In July 2013 I earned an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. I have shared the wisdom I learned from that program, as well as other insights on the craft of writing gleaned from other conferences and classes, with readers. And I also share highlights from my own curriculum materials lifted from the creative writing classes I teach.
Are you creative? Do you long to find more ways to express yourself creatively, to explore more deeply the passions prompted by your personal muse? The Artist’s Road has taught me that I am not alone in this. Let’s explore our creative passions together, and support each other on this long and fascinating road.