• Advice

Allen Ginsberg on making art for art's sake

Allen Ginsberg once said that in order to “gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.”

Lucky for us, he listened to his own advice.

In a 1994 interview with the BBC, Ginsberg admitted that he only wrote Howl, the epic poem that many of us know him for, because he was nearly at the point of giving up writing, and decided to write something private, with no intention of sharing it with the public.

“Howl was written sort of in despair of writing poetry,” Ginsberg said. “I hadn’t succeeded in writing anything interesting. So I said, ‘Well, I’ll just write for myself and forget about writing poetry.’ So I started writing: ‘I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness...’”

He goes on to say, “I was completely free to write anything I wanted. If you don’t show anybody, you can do anything you want...which is why the poem is good...because it was written for my own privacy.”

As a freelancer, you’re presumably doing what you’re doing for a living because it’s something that motivates you, something you’re passionate about, and something that you generally enjoy doing. When you’re facing deadlines, deadbeat clients, and dry spells, it’s easy to forget who you’re actually freelancing for.

Watch the full interview below: