My recently-released young adult novel, “Paper Girl,” was written from a place of gratefulness to artists like Kurt Cobain, whose life and work helped me feel not alone in the world. In my teens and 20s I struggled with extreme inner conflict and self-doubt. My “self” was like a chameleon that transformed to fit various environments and relationships. While a certain amount of flexibility is helpful in life, the level of my flexibility worked against me and left me feeling empty. My creative self felt trampled and shy. Like a young child, every so often, my inner artist would tap me on the shoulder and say, “Hey, do you think we could do some writing or painting or something?”
Artists like Cobain helped inspire me to do the hard work of getting up each and every morning to write and honor my artist self. I am grateful for Cobain’s gift. I will end this blog post today with an excerpt from Michael Stipe’s 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction speech for Nirvana.
“It is the highest calling for an artist, as well as the greatest possible privilege to capture a moment…to expose our struggles, our aspirations, our desires…Cobain, Novoselic, and Grohl were Nirvana…Nirvana defined a moment, a movement for outsiders: for the fags; for the fat girls for the broken toys; the shy nerds; the Goth kids from Tennessee and Kentucky; for the rockers and the awkward; for the fed-up; the too-smart kids and the bullied.” (Michael Stipe)