Every so often I find myself asking – why do I do this?
And sometimes I don’t know.
Sometimes I am just staring up from the bottom of a deep, dark well and I honestly don’t know why I do it. Why I write. Why I paint. Why I draw. Why I take photos. Why I put events together.
Sometimes I just don’t know.
And that’s normal.
And it’s good.
We need to re-examine things from time to time, especially the things we love and are passionate about. Without constant questioning we start to meander and lose sight of what it is that drives us on and fuels us with that passion. There’s a point where you need to ask yourself – why am I doing this? What’s the point?
And why do I do it?
I do it because I love to write. I love to tell stories. I love create worlds and people to fill them. And I love to shine the light on the things people don’t always see. Sometimes these are ugly things but so be it. We need to face the ugly from time to time to appreciate the beautiful when we find it.
I draw because I love it. I am not a good artist but it makes me smile. It lets out my silly side and taps into my creative side. I doodle more than outright draw but that’s what gives me the joy. Sometime quick and dirty and simple. I still prefer pen and paper since I can do things more precisely but I have grown to love drawing on my phone since it’s a quick fix with immediate results. Yeah, I know – typical American.
I paint because I love it. I had wanted to learn to paint for years and was too timid to do it until a friend gave me a starter set for Christmas one year and I have been painting since. About five years now. I am not a good painter, at all, but I have fun, and I think that comes through. I have slowed down for about eighteen different reasons, but really, part of me is still in that – Why Do I Do This phase and looking at a box of twenty paintings makes me question myself, much like looking at a box of unsold books does.
I take photos because I love it. Again, not good, but sometimes, sometimes I am not bad at all. I don’t take photos as much as I would to but I do love it. It’s another way to be creative and to set scenes. I am still too timid to really give myself to it, to go with all of my ideas, but I am trying, inch by inch, to get better and get more of my personality into things.
I do events because I love them. I love putting people together who have similar passions. I love working with people who are still finding themselves, their audience, and their path. I love adding to the culture of Flint, even if but in a small way. And I love creating things that inspire people in some way.
Why Do I Do It?
Because I have to. I do the things I do because it drives me crazy to see how little thought and imagination goes into some of the events I see. It drives me crazy to see how so many always seem to have their hands out waiting for someone to fund them and their convention, hobby, whatever. There’s so much that can be done if people just work together, and in a city like where I live, Flint, we need to work together more than anything. I love this place, as many flaws as it has, and want to help to make it better. Sure, art shows and horror cons don’t do much to change people’s safety, and doesn’t create a future perhaps but it’s only by inspiring people and passing our passions on that we can actively change the future. Without that passion, without a reason to stay, people will leave. And if moving makes you happy, then do it, but sometimes staying means more because you can effect the place you live.
You can change it.
Why do I do what I do?
Because I want the things I do to create my legacy. And hell, even if people forget who the hell I am, at least I want to know that I tried to make a difference. I cared enough to try. And the future is only created moment to moment and if we give up inspiring others, inspiring ourselves then we give up on the future. There is so much indifference and apathy anymore, so much negativity about everything that we have to keep the fires burning for one another because someone has to. I do this stuff because it isn’t about fame, or money, but about trying to make a difference. Heck, we all want to make enough to survive and then some to be silly with but that can’t be what we live for. It can’t or we live for nothing. And it’s easy to forget all that as we struggle day to day and the debt piles up, and the stress compounds, but what the Arts give us, what passion gives us is a way to see past those things and into the future, or the past, or anywhere we want. We do the things we love because we have to, not because we want to, but because we have to. Because not doing them drives us crazy. Not doing them makes us feel as if we are wasting away.
And the only thing that can outlive us is the future and it’s better to help create that future than to help destroy it.
So, take a moment and ask yourself my simple question -
Why Do You Do It?