“So if luck is on my side, I’ll keep improving. I hope to get better as I get older.”
Every once in a while I come across an artist who so energized that he seems to give off sparks in a whirl of creativity. Whenever I hear about someone like this it’s very exciting, because to me, it’s proof positive that pursuing artistic accomplishments can keep you young and vital. There’s no expiration date on creativity. The more you pursue your muse, the more your muse pursues you.
Tony Bennett is a perfect example. He embodies that wonderful saying of Confucious: Find a calling you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. Not only has he completed a new album, Duets II, at age 85, but he’s also a successful painter: he has three pieces in the Smithsonian and lots of enthusiastic clients for his art.
On the music front, while a typical album takes him a few days to record, his newest one took six months. He traveled all over the world, from Nashville to Italy and England where he teamed up with everyone from Willie Nelson and Andrea Bocelli to Lady Gaga. Now that’s diversity! In the art arena, Tony’s repertoire now includes sculpting.
What does all this have to do with us as writers? Plenty! Tony’s tips to us might include:
• Constantly challenge yourself: always push your area of mastery in new directions.
• Share what you know: be generous in trading in-house secrets with your colleagues.
• Re-energize your work: pursue another art form that fuels your mainstream passion.
• Inspire others by letting them inspire you: everyone wins when you do.
• Keep learning: the more curious you are the more creative — and young — you’ll be.