In Vain

South Portland Maine – Photo by Dan Steven Erickson

Sometimes all of my creative effort feels in vain.

But let’s look at this in perspective. I’m not a vain person. I’m an everyday guy who loves to write and make music. I love to compose and take photos. I love to create.

But what’s the purpose of it all? So what? I’ve written 60 songs in 2023. I’m working on a rewrite of a 50,000 word book. I practice some form of music for a couple of hours a day. Currently, I’m focusing on electric guitar. But to what end?

I believe in my work. It’s valuable. It’s art. But most of it just sits on shelves. Even the books and music that I’ve published barely get seen or heard by others.

The business end of the creative industries is overwhelming. I think about contacting publishers and producers and other industry professionals. I’ve done it before. My experience was that it’s a ton of unenjoyable work for little response. Add the fact that I’m 60 years old and it makes it even more daunting.

So is it all in vain? I suppose it’s better than smoking dope or robbing convenience stores. But seriously, if nothing else, there is personal satisfaction that comes from living a creative life. It kills boredom. It’s therapeutical. It’s fun.

And even if only a few people read or hear something I’ve created, that is some reward. Several people have commented about how my first book, A Train Called Forgiveness, has reached them personally and helped them on their own forgiveness journeys. That’s something, right? – dse

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Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.