A dear friend of mine, who by day appears as an unassuming wife and mother but whose alter ego is a phenomenal writer, gave me some sound advice. My paraphrase follows.
All artists and educators must have a willingness to be misunderstood.
Firstly, I love that she talks about artists and educators in the same stroke, because they are of the same ilk. Many don’t recognize that, and I gladly see the wisdom in my friend’s statement (sometimes confirmation bias is accurate – I’m just saying). Secondly artists and educators must release themselves into the public sphere with abandon; otherwise, their work cannot be digested.
I find that in some arenas I’m perfectly willing to be misunderstood, because I know my audience will get it eventually, even if eventually might not happen for another 20 years. In others, however, I fear I spend way too much time trying not to be misunderstood (which differs from trying to be understood) that I leave consumers with nothing to digest.
A good meal can have multiple courses with varying complexities and textures within each of several dishes. Everyone will not enjoy each item, but that doesn’t negate the intent of the meal nor the artistry of the chef.