Photo by Patrick Ross of Savannah

A review of “Committed” by Patrick Ross @PatrickRwrites

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Committed by Patrick RossCommitted: A Memoir Of The Artist’s Road is a recently published book by Patrick Ross. He was good enough to send me a copy for review, but I was not quick to read it. That was no fault of the book. It’s a very engaging book and frankly the depth of engagement was part of what slowed me down. I had to read the beautiful ending of section three dozens of times; some portions of the story called out to inner parts of me or my history and I took time (too long?) to reflect on those; and the copy I had was electronic which meant that I could never read it at one of my favorite reading times: right before bed. (Why? Because I don’t bring large glowing screens into my bedroom.)

Inspiration For Your Creative Pursuits

If you just want a summary, I found this book to be an excellent inspiration for sticking with (or returning to) an art-committed life. I can recommend it simply on that basis. But that’s a huge oversimplification.

Inspiration Along The Way

The opening of the book is a riveting story about Patrick interacting with his children and his parents. Interacting is an understatement. The scene is dramatic with lots of potential for things to go wrong. You need to read the book to learn the details though. I will tell you that this scene sets up lots of what comes later, notably that ending of section three.

Part of the external story in Committed is about Ross interviewing numerous artists on video for a D.C. lobby. He knows that many of the independent artists he’s interviewing will not benefit from the legislation that the videos will be used to promote. Meanwhile, for the purposes of his own story, they will have quite a powerful influence.

Photo by Patrick Ross of Savannah
Committed is a roadtrip, but there are no photos in the book. To see a few more of Patrick Ross’ photos, click on this one.

Inspiration For Becoming Your Best Self

There are many potholes along the way and temptations along the roadside. Patrick is tempted to be pulled into some of the stories of the artists he videos or too many drinks at a roadside bar. Clearly, he also had other forces at work — dedication to his job, his family, and eventually his own creativity — that keep him on the path.

If you follow artistic news, you already know that Ross has mental health disorder that runs in his family. (That, as many of you also know, is not atypical of creative types.)

But the author of Committed does not let that remain a roadblock. Instead, some of the avenues in this book are about how he copes with and then (in significant ways) moves beyond just coping. As part of that “moving beyond”, he grows closer to his daughter, many of the artists that he interviews, and to his own creative pursuits.

Inspiration For An Art-Committed Life

In so many surprising ways, this book is a “self-discovery roadtrip” story. But that’s a huge undersell. This is about a mature and vulnerable man who is reconnecting with an art-committed life in ways that are visceral, relational, and introspective.

Inspiration For What’s Next

If you browse the recent posts on Patrick Ross’ blog, you’ll see that he’s continuing to write about the process of creating this book. I encourage you to check out those posts, but even more to get your copy of Committed and read it faster than I did.

Playful blessings,
Stan

Full disclosure: I am mentioned in the author’s acknowledgements of this book. So far as I know, the reasons for that mention are my on-line (blog comments and Twitter primarily) support of Patrick Ross’ blogging that led up to this book being published. I benefit in no way (other than the contribution to the greater good) from sales of this book. And I have never met Patrick in person, though I look forward to that day even more now that I have read his memoir. There is also a mini-review by me of Patrick’s book on Amazon.

A roadtrip in which Patrick Ross reconnects to an art-committed life.
Published by: Black Rose Writing
Date Published: 10/16/2014
Edition: All
ISBN: ISBN-10: 161296429X ISBN-13: 978-1612964294
Available in:EbookPaperback
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4 comments

  1. Stan, thank you for taking the time to read my book, and for this kind review! I’m glad the book spoke to you. Part Three of the book, particularly the end, seems to have resonated strongly with many readers. And I fully agree with your wise move to avoid light-backed devices in your bedroom! (I keep telling Marisa and Parker that but they don’t listen, even with all of the science behind it. So be it!)

    1. Thanks, Patrick! You must have been one of the first to read this review. Your memoir did speak to me and hope many people read it for the story and the inspiration.

  2. I really love the title. I’m always reading memoirs, especially those written by artists or who make their living in the arts. Will check it out, thanks.

    1. Wonderful, Lisa! As you can tell, I really appreciated Patrick’s book. And I don’t often read memoirs (or anything else for that matter).

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