200564341-001.jpgEvery morning I wake up to a dark room, enclosed in four walls, yearning for sunlight; so, I make the bed and draw open the blinds to let the sun catch my eyes. This routine is consistent; thusly, so is my daily life. When the alarm sounds, my mind is instantly fixed on “work” mode and everything about those minutes before I turn the key to lock my door are consumed by a list of priorities and tasks that never seem to change. The child in me wants to watch my neighbor’s grandchildren create art with their smiles and giggles or play hop-scotch and line the sidewalk with colored chalk drawings. The writer in me wants to sit on my balcony and count each duck that waddles by in single file (the leader happy to be in front), wagging their tails and pen the first group of words that leaves my mind while the beginning of a new poem is still fresh. All I want to do is, write. All I want to do is, live. But in order to live, I have to work. In the rather admirable words of Jill Scott, “I don’t want to go to work today. I’d rather stay home and play video games. I wanna chill. But, I gotta get up.”

Being an artist in Corporate America is difficult. For me, the heart and soul of writing is having the ability to scribe whatever comes to you at that very moment, no matter your location. It is the sheer freedom of not clocking in or out and enjoying every second of each day with nature evolving around you, while you’re prepared to capture it with your favorite notebook in hand. In Corporate America, there is a job to be completed by the end of my eight hour day; therefore, many poems and short stories have gone unwritten. Will I get them back? No. Am I worried about this? No. In their place, new art will form. As a writer, there is always something brewing in the pit of my belly just waiting to make an appearance. The only thing I have to do is push it out.

I would like to say that I am in the process of compiling years of work to present to renowned magazines and journals, but this is an untruth (but, the second book has moved from pending and is on the front burner instead of the back). I have in the past, submitted my work to several online sites hoping my portfolio would be good enough only to be rejected or told that I have yet to gain the experience “they” are looking for. My mind is full of happenings that only my heart seems to understand, thusly the dilemma is detaching “me” from my work. This is one of my weaknesses. I am at peace with this aspect of my character so I can admit this. The question is how do I prepare myself for the professional writing world in order to remove the proverbial corporate monkey from my back? This, my dear people is a question in which I have yet to find the answer. But, give me time, I am certain I can conjure up one good enough to satisfy my restless mind.

In the meantime, I am fortunate to say that I have a job that provides me with the essentials needed for an aspiring artist: food, shelter, writing utensils, paper, journals, and pocket dictionaries. I am blessed immensely because I have always been surrounded by supportive co-workers eager to read what my busy mind has to offer. As soon as I shake the added weight of being rejected (yet again) from my svelte figure, I will summon up enough confidence to give making my art work for me another try. Until then, this is my writing life.

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  • Addie

    …but look what you have to offer the corporate world…we LOVE you and your writing! The “corporate world” is blessed to be able to work alongside an artist like you, Tre! Thank you for sharing your heart with us. -love, a supportive co-worker eager to read what your busy mind has to offer :)

  • max

    well, you already know what i think about your writing. :)

  • yes, I do max, and I’ve said before, but it warrants saying again: it was definitely a pleasure working with you. :) dre, Susan, and Addie, thanks you guys. you all know me, I’ll strive until I’m no longer alive *struggling artsts unite*

  • Ain

    I can relate to this post and it’s comforting that there are other artists who are determined not to drop the ball. I have many talented friends who get so consumed in work that they lose focus of honing their craft.

    Don’t get discouraged by rejection letters. Embrace them. They’re a sign that you’re actually reaching for something. Take your journals to work and sneak in a word or two when you can.

    *Side note: I have a digital recorder that I carry with me everywhere. If I have a thought, a line, an idea… I can log it. Maybe that’ll work for you ;-)

    Be blessed in all you do.

  • tremaine

    Ain, thanks very much for that information. the recorder sounds like a great idea. I actually have one at home.