Believe it or not, I am a first-time memoir reader and might have missed out on COMMITTED: A MEMOIR OF THE ARTIST’S ROAD, if not for getting to know Patrick Ross through his Artist’s Road blog over the past few years.
I’m not sure all memoirs are like his, but Ross’s COMMITTED offers a refreshing literary style with beautiful turns of phrase (many relating to the physical environment he travels during a road trip). It also tackles the tough issues of mental health and the common tug and pull faced by creatives attempting to live art-committed lives. The memoir adds yet another layer, too, as it shares the creative stories of artists Ross interviews during a cross-country business trip.
COMMITTED by Patrick Ross, a Washington-D.C. lobbyist (former journalist), spoke to me on many levels, as someone charting my own creative path. Many passages were quotable for those of us starting the new year with renewed passion for our art:
“The art-committed life is all about perseverance. It’s about creating your art when life tells you there is no time. It’s about honoring your muse when there is no immediate economic return. It’s about being willing to take on new challenges alone.”
“What informs one’s writing is the life one has lived.”
I really enjoyed this memoir about Ross’s creative journey, a journey made infinitely more painful as a result of a strained relationship with his bestselling author mother and a family legacy of mental health struggles. Ross’s courageous story sheds much-needed light on the realities of bipolar disorder and offers hope for individuals wanting to commit to their art.
COMMITTED by Patrick Ross was the perfect book to start out the new year with creative enthusiasm!
Please check out the collection of pictures Patrick shared with excerpts from his memoir at my blog What I Saw. And the New York Times article he was featured in about disclosing mental disorders.
(Original version of this piece published at GoodReads on January 12, 2015 by Melissa Crytzer Fry. Reposted here with permission of the author. )