The life of an artist and a scientist are not so different. Both require a lot of alone time. You’ll have to spend several hours in a studio or a laboratory, working on something you care about, wondering if all your hard-work will pay off in the end. I just spend one of the harder weeks in graduate school, and my passion for both of these things is the only thing that’s been keeping me together.
Yes, working as a scientist and an artist requires me to be alone most of the time, but I’m never lonely. The drive to discover something that can be of value to other people, the hunger to get that high of being the only person in the world who possesses a sparkling speck of knowledge at the time of the discovery, the joy of creating something out of my imagination, the chance of being more than just reality — these things feed me more than any motivation from anyone or any promise of security in the future. Motivation, enthusiasm, they come and go; but my muse, it stays with me even in my darkest hours.