The Art of Not Publishing

I have been watching/listening to a lot of interviews with Allen Ginsburg and then yesterday watched a documentary on the author JD Salinger and in both pieces, they separately discussed the “stillness” of not publishing. Ginsberg’s work, Howl, was never to be seen by anyone in his own mind. It was to be hidden away. But the poem went on to become one of the most important pieces of contemporary poetry and launched his career.

As film makers and artists, operating under the guise of “it will never been seen” seems pretty unusual. But in fact, in practicing this I have found an immense freedom. Certainly I do commercial production work that is beholden to my client’s wishes. But it is those projects where I am free to create what I want and get to go out and just “be” – that is where I am most passionate about the work and most engaged.

So I got to thinking that perhaps it is time to start working as if no one is ever going to see what I am doing. It cuts out the editor instead – that little voice that filters who I am and how I “should” be expressing myself. Maybe it’s time to just keep working “as if” and just create for the sake of creating, because there is a voice deep down that has something to say and wants to say it.

That then, would be the true artist – the expression of the soul, of the heart. Not restricted by anything except what limitations you place on it for your own viewing. It would be an amazing thing to integrate this kind of expressive freedom with commercial work – I think for anyone of us, this grey area would be a goal to live inside of. To find a way to give our true selves a way to be expressed within the confines of someone else’s editorial desires.

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