I have friends who write poetry about intensely important things. Who start ethical businesses where even the ink used to stamp the logo on the packaging is sustainably sourced. Who write eloquently and hilariously about the realities of mental health.
And I love them for it. The admiration is so real. And I fully let them take centre stage on this.
Because that’s their zone of complete and utter flair. That’s where they’re brought to life. We (and by ‘we,’ I mean the world) NEED these really great people to do these really, really great things.
But for me and my art, it feels different.
I mean, it’s all a bit inconsequential, really. In the grand scheme of things. A bit mundane. It’s not like I’m shifting social consciousness or raising awareness of anything but my own stellar ability to navel-gaze.
At least, that’s what I’d been thinking. But this weekend, I received one of Hollie McNish’s poetry books in the post and listened to Kathy Burke on the Distraction Pieces podcast. Both make stunning and very funny art about the everyday life I know. An everyday life I can relate to. And both made me realise that it’s OK to talk about the things that seemingly aren’t important, as much as the things that really, absolutely are.
Just like life doesn’t have to be all big trips and big moves in order to be fun, creativity doesn’t only have to look like fighting injustice.
Listening to Omarion on the 176 bus can be fulfilling. Making art about breakfast cereal can be meaningful. Some of my favourite poems are about everyday things, such as future offspring, starting to like someone, the human body and three-hour hugs. Also, about complaining, because while mundane things make valid art, it’s always worth holding on to some perspective.
When it comes to what I do, I know my voice matters. Because someone will relate. And here’s a little secret I know: your voice matters, too.
Art and business can focus on the (to some) remote yet legitimately important parts of life and how to make them better, and that’s incredible. I’m in awe of and thankful to anyone who can translate an atrocity or a need into a piece of art that makes others wake up to it.
But just as the above is relevant, a blog post about you feeling rubbish today or feeling happy today or not even knowing how you feel today is relevant, too.
Just in case you needed to hear that, too.