Purpose.

I think that some of us cause ourselves undue havoc by not doing things that we are passionate about. Fighting against self to fit into a box on society's shelf is only a way to die; it's no way to live.

For those who are looking for a 'purpose', I wonder how many of them stopped themselves dead in their tracks from doing what they truly love.

And I'm not saying "quit your job & draw up home blueprints full time", but if that's what sparks your soul's interest, then immerse yourself in it whenever you can.

Spend your free time like it's worth something. It only costs you when you don't use it on what makes your heart tick.

And as far as that "purpose" thing goes, I think I've cracked the code: you are here to inspire others with your life's movie. 

Of course one person's plot differs from the next, but that's what makes it *your* particular film.

(Using myself as an example b/c that's whose movie I'm mostly an expert analyst on) 

Look, I love to hoop & I love to write. Nowhere near the greatest in either one, but I'm either good enough or passionate enough to help inspire others. Sometimes the details don't matter.

Kids will see me play & want to know how to do certain 'moves' or how to pass better, whatever. I'm humbled enough to take the time to try & share my POV, and help out however I can. The same thing goes for writing. I'm not unapproachable & apparently don't come off that way, because they'll come right out and ask for help. Who am I to get in the way of someone's development? I may be one of the stepping stones in someone's path to learn from someone far greater than me. I can't be a roadblock, and I damn sure wouldn't want for someone to be a roadblock for me. Lending a small helping hand is one of the basic human skills that we need to get back to displaying more often. 

My purpose in writing this blog, really, is to share a little bit about what my last book "A Work of (he)Art" means to me, and what it took in order to finally complete it.

For the record, this was supposed to be the title of my very first book, not my (technically) 3rd project. The title itself meant so much to me, that it's one of my earlier tattoos in my sleeve. It summed up everything that I felt (& still feel) about life. Back to the movie reference from earlier, we are all putting out works of art, every day. Whether we want to be seen as such is really out of our hands: someone is always looking, always analyzing, always comparing & always critiquing. We are all part of a living, breathing gallery. As far as the "heart" part goes, many of us have been molded throughout life by others' hands, out of nothing short of pure unconditional love. And it's my opinion that the best art comes from the heart - passion fuels promise...not to be misunderstood as chasing perfection. 

Anyway, back to the actual book. I wrote a version a few years ago, back when I dropped the digital-only "EP" 'Lovers & Killers', and let a select few see it, because I had written it off as never coming out and (unbeknownst to probably everyone who cares) had resigned to the reality of never publishing a book. I could never get to a place of personal satisfaction for something that I would have to take my hands off of & put out into the world. I never quite understood why artists, regardless of creative medium, considered their works to be their babies...until I actually considered letting mine walk out into the wind, so to speak. "It's not ready yet! What if it runs across someone who doesn't understand it? I haven't dressed it up properly for the world to see!"

So yeah, I was content with living in the world of "what if", because it seemed so much more safe than the world of "actually doing" . Failure couldn't talk shit to me if I never came to open the front door. But then probably the only person who could talk me off of the ledge of isolation came calling. My brother from another, Teef, cashed in on a years-old pact that we made back in the Myspace-era to co-write a book that would be a part of his #4Seasons collection, "Winter". I've always felt that it was my duty to assist whenever I was needed, & this was no different. Little did I know, he was baiting me. I was Jay Electronica, & Teef (up until that point) had been Diddy, Nas & Q Tip. Fast forward (we wrote that book in something like 30 days, I believe) & he basically says "aiight, the ice is broken on you publishing. Now #putThatBookOutNigga!"

While finishing up "Ink Pens & Permanent Thought", I was already putting shape to my next book (I create projects in overlap)  & figured that it was high time to get my original dream title out to the public. The grand part was, I finally had a full vision to go along with the title. I not only wanted for the book to be a type of "learning experience", but I also wanted to try & give a few others the push that Teef gave me. The writers that I have featured in "A Work of (he)Art" are all artists that I know well, & ones that I wanted to give a kind of nudge to (not that they even necessarily needed it). I also wanted to share my boutique audience with them, in hopes that they might even pick up some new fans along the way. 

(note: I really hate the word "fan". It seems so self-fulfilling & pompous....thanks in large part to today's society. I'd rather use something like "appreciators"....if it were more of a sexy word. But it is not.)

I have stayed up past many a midnight, waiting for the dead silence of 2am, just to make sure that I heard my mind & heart right. Burning my candle at both ends seems like a foolish way to live to most, but with a mind like mine, it's worth the shortened wick to be able to wax poetic how I see fit. I sacrifice my soul to try & help others who feel that their lives are so dark, see their own light. And yes, there are plenty of moments that I wonder if it's a waste of time, or if people think that I write from a place of arrogance, or write just to try & make money, or (even more laughable) chase fame. But then I'll get feedback from unlikely sources, revealing to me their own tales of relatability, unearthing their dreams that I never would have imagined lived within them. 

That's when I know that everything was all worth it. Thank you.