“Somehow the ocean won’t wash them away”

I recently read the oft-recommended book on writing, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, for the first time ever. It’s an excellent book, full of great advice for any fiction writer, but there was one bit in particular that stood out to me. Here it is:

“This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won’t wash them away.”

I never thought of artists that way until I read this book, yet the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. After all, if we artists were content simply with imagining things, why would we ever feel the need to express them, whether through writing, drawing, singing, acting, or some other creative medium?

If you’re an artist, does that quote resonate with you? Why or why not? Do you have any other quotes that you think better describe the difference between artists and ordinary people?


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