I didn’t plan on writing about this topic.
But then I read this SPIN magazine article about this guy, Ben Todd. And it’s powerful.
Ben was from where I currently live–Nashville, TN. I never knew him personally, but I saw him at tons of shows and sometimes playing on stage. He put on a lot indie punk shows in the past 4-5 years and started a blog about Nashville music that kept everyone connected. His house shows were pretty close and he lived just a few streets over in the same neighborhood as me.
But Ben killed himself last year. Interestingly enough, the name of his blog? Nashville’s Dead.
The story about the misunderstood artist isn’t a new one, and that growing up is hard and difficult.
But in some ways that makes it even sadder. That this is so common and recurring.
Obviously, Ben had a lot of the things that a lot of “creative people” like you are probably looking for.
A great outlet for his art. Tons of support. Lots of friends and a good heart. But that’s not enough. He was still depressed. He was a perfectionist who was upset that no one ever seemed to give back to the same level he was giving.
It wasn’t enough. It never is.
People read these blogs and look up stuff about “creativity” and “writing” because it’s immensely important to them. They want to feel good, they want to be validated, they want their voice to be heard.
If you gain that, then what? More money? More fame? It’s ongoing cycle that many people pursue in whatever field they’re involved in. Most people say they just want to be recognized, but it’s hard to stop there.
You need something greater than yourself and your art or writing won’t do it.
Here’s what I think.
I think God has given each of us talents and abilities.
Stuff we’re good at. But then we also have limitations and deficits. Other people can fill in those gaps, but then those people let us down too. That doesn’t mean we don’t need people. We absolutely do. Like our art, we just can’t put our ultimate hope in those people either. Instead, God sees that and wants to fill it.
So yeah, I’m a Christian.
What does that mean? In this case, it means I don’t have to accomplish everything, that my self worth is not necessarily found in what I do or don’t do.
That’s easy to mock and make fun of, and I’ll probably agree with you on a lot of whatever stereotypes you have, so go ahead and do that if you want.
Or just contact me and we can talk about it.
(PS>>>I have no idea about Ben Todd’s personal beliefs. I’m just using this as an example and these are some thoughts that came to me about this topic.)