The Artist’s Most Important Trait

In a post some time ago I argue that the most important skill a writer could master was finishing. An uncompleted project moves no readers and sells no copies. Today I’m going to talk about the trait all artist’s should prize above others. That trait is not inspiration, creativity, or being a keen judge of human nature.

Above all else an artist needs to be honest.

Now, I do not mean that you tell cruel truths to people at parties. I do not mean that you argue and try to dominate all who disagree with you. There are light-years between honest and asshole.

What I mean is you must not self-censure. You must not silence the voice in your art. That is you voice and it is literally the only thing that separates you from everyone else in the art. Your viewpoint, your take on the world is the point of your art, it is your art. When you self-censor you decapitate your art turning it into nothing more that talented copying. It becomes a self forgery.

Always listen to your inner voice. Always know what it is you what to say and always, always say it.