Once is a while, I catch myself...
It makes me laugh sometimes when people and by people I also mean myself hang their heads and bemoan that starting a creative business/running a creative business/growing a creative business is hard.
Really?! You think?!
I mean, obviously when I decided to start this business I must have known that there were easier routes. If I needed money, I could have got any old job. If I wanted to be a photographer I could have got a job in someone else's studio. If I wanted to be a tortured artist I should have never looked for clients. If I wanted a secure job I could have gone back to teaching. If I wanted a clear progression I could have stayed in banking and the possibilities go on. And yet I chose to turn my passion into a business. I decided that I wanted my art to valued by others. So yeah, it's not bloody easy.
How often do you lament the following: it's just so hard! I'm seriously ready to sack it all in. It's just so frustrating, I've been doing this for months/years and I'm still not where I want to be.
Really?! You think?!
I don't believe that any of us are seriously that naive as to think that greatness is something one wakes up with. Or that 6 months, a year, 3 years, 5 years is how long it takes to be at the pinnacle of our career.
Sometimes I wonder if its the talent thing - people tell us we have talent and we think, well then, I literally have a god given/DNA enhanced ability and therefore as soon as I tell the world about it I'll start reaping the benefits. But the fact is god given or not everything takes time. What would have happened if Neil Armstrong had thrown a hissy fit in the middle of his Turbine Aeroplane Aerodynamics Structures and Systems 2 class and told his fellow colleagues and professor that he'd had enough of this shit! "They won't let me fly a Lunar Module, nobody is recognising my natural ability and meanwhile they sent a God Damn monkey into space! Seriously A MONKEY! I should be that monkey! Screw this, I quit!"
I bet you most of his class mates would have cheered him out of the room and sighed with relief that there was one less obstacle between them and being first man on the moon.
If the path you choose is hard then own it as such. Graft at it. Cry over it. Pull out your hair because no-body understands or appreciates you. But know that you chose that path. Very few people are forced into the life of a creative - by its very definition it is a chosen path. So embrace it. Embrace the fact that there will be highs and lows and that probably your highs will have you dancing with unicorns above the clouds and by equal measure your lows will take you to rock bottom.
Next time you're on a low, instead of banging your head against a wall and threatening to quit, ask yourself why. Why did you want this in the first place? Why did you chose a path that is so bumpy? What is it about this job that you "love so much" that you love so much? You find that the reason you're tempted to quit is because actually you've lost sight of the part that you love, or you've stopped creating in a way that brings you joy.
Remember no-one's forcing you to be a creative so if you're feeling that pressure it's probably because you're no longer being creative and you need to find your way back to that.
Once In a While
I thought I would know better
That's wishful thinkin'
Thought there'd be no pressure
That's wishful drinkin'
Is anything forever or just a feeling?
What have I been so afraid of?
I don't know...