Home » Blogs » Polishing the Fragments » The Struggle Makes The Artist

The Struggle Makes The Artist

“So you want to be a rock’n’roll star, Then listen now to what I say, Just get an electric guitar, And take some time and learn how to play” Christopher Hillman, Roger James Mcguinn 

It is in the struggle that the artist is made. Do you have what it takes to persevere even when things look bleak and hopeless? 

struggle photoThere is in art whole series of frustrating mundane tasks that must be attended to. As I write this little not I am multi-tasking, trying to get a manuscript to fit correctly into the book without going outside the edges. This in itself is a simple task to do. However one must pay careful attention to the length of the book as more pages mean more overhead. So here I go manipulating numbers for the margins searching for a perfect fit. It is dull, tedious work.

I could imagine an artist has no thrill in selling his paintings. In booking galleries and haggling over prices. My friend is an amateur artist and sometimes a person will offer to buy the painting if he will change something on it. This happened to Richard Wright who changed his books to make them more commercial. Of course, there are those rock stars who have their music damaged by interference with record company people.  Artists do not necessarily have control over their own art, especially if they want to make money out of it.

There are millions of people out there who would love to cash in the nine to five scene or the double dipping of jobs and earn a living off of their art. The dream is to do something that you love full time. But I have observed there are very few direct routes to this level. Instead, the road is full of turmoil and desperate times. The question to the artist is ‘are you tough enough?’. Do you believe in your art enough to keep on keeping on despite rejection and failure?

You have heard the stories of famous writers being told they have no future, Stephen King being one of them. There was nobody who was interested in dark dystopias, so he was told. There is nothing to shut up critics like success and even then they never go away. But nobody enters into the arts dreaming of being a critic, no they go in to do the art.

Personally, I have had enough success to keep me going but far from enough to support myself financially.  I once gave a book to a reviewer and he told me that he couldn’t write a review, that’s how bad it was. I thought of saving his name for future consideration, that is once I was famous to flaunt his critique. Instead, I threw out his information. Before I did I Googled his name to see what kind of poetry he wrote. I found one or two pieces as I recall, far less then the hundred plus outlets I had been published in.

In all honesty, my confidence mimicks my bipolar. When I am feeling good I am the best poet that ever lived, when I am down I feel my writing is terrible. My publishing record reflects neither. I am currently somewhere in the middle unrecognized by anybody of note. Some days poems burst inside of me demanding to be written, other days I don’t write a thing. But I try every single day to do some writing.

In truth at this point in my career marketing pays a bigger factor in my success than my writing. But in the long run, substance will outlast form. If people love your art it will be passed down from generation to generation. But you cannot propagate what does not exist. And art would not exist if artists listened to those casting a disparaging shadow on their illuminations.

Art is a tough world. It takes both talent and perseverance to succeed. You got to be tough enough and believe in yourself enough to keep on doing your creativity no matter what. If you don’t you have no chance of succeeding.

Here is a poem from the book that allegedly has no merit. You can purchase it here.


By John Kaniecki

My love she lies beside me sleeping our dream
My breath is hushed as my pen dictates scream
She is the angel that makes life easy
She is the devil that knows how to please me
Lover, Friend, Doctor, Nurse, Mother and Wife
The steadfast anchor the Love of my life
How many angry words have you forgave?
How many times my life came to save?
I do not have any greater desire
Then to kiss your lips and embrace your fire

You are fantasy a lady and more
In agony the woman I adore
When the well is empty from you I drink
When my mind is barren your thoughts I think

You are my black rose delicately tough
I ask for more I’ll never have enough
I pray your inner hopes of righteousness
Will awaken you with fulfillment’s soft kiss
I am the sage you humble to a fool
I am a god your life I cannot rule
Sleep dear child as I chase futility
You will never know what you mean to me

The Struggle Makes The Artist

John Kaniecki

John Kaniecki is a full-time caregiver for his wife Sylvia. He is a published writer and works with the Church of Christ. John has lived with bipolar for over thirty years and has been hospitalized nine times, three of which were committed. John has chronicled his life story in his memoirs "More Than The Madness". Also of note is John's book of poetry "Murmurings Of A Mad Man" which are poems written about being committed in Graystone Psychiatric Hospital. John believes in the power of words to change the world for the better. His website can be seen here. His books can be seen on Amazon. You can visit his personal blog "Turn A Page Or Two" here.

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Kaniecki, J. (2018). The Struggle Makes The Artist. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 26, 2019, from


Last updated: 3 Aug 2018
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.