“Your Work is Nice, But Who Reads Anymore?”
We know that trends come and go, and certain styles and presentation of art is more preferred than others. I think it is safe to say that we are in a time where reading is not as popular as other forms of media. I personally don’t know why that is, maybe we have become such a fast paced environment, it’s hard to find the time to read? Or since media has become a place of escapism, many times we want to avoid thinking, rather than sparking it? I really don’t know, but I know many avid readers in my life (including me) so I hate hearing those pessimistic takes, “reading is dead!” or “millennials killed books!!!1!!” There will always be pockets in society that do their own thing.
The love between the art and the artist
Not gonna lie though, this week I really found myself getting lost in the rat race of success. I think when that happens it’s easy lose the personal relationship you have with your work, especially if it is not moving at the pace you think it should. If you relate to this too, I think it’s really important to remind ourselves nobody was really there when you were studying in the library, taking that one picture, or stitching that shirt. Nobody really felt that joy when you looked at what you’ve done and just thought you did a really good job. So that love we have for our work shouldn’t go away if you didn’t get that award, appreciation, or the ‘likes’ online. When it comes to our life, we are allowed to make anything as deep or serious as we want it too, regardless if it’s reciprocated or not. Romanticize, as they say.
I’m trying to learn the balance between that internal vs. external validation. The goal is to shift, hear constructive criticism, and improve, so external validation is a vital tool. But to make that the main focus is a dangerous game. My friend shared with me a really great reminder: It is important to stop and ask, “are you happy with it?”
In life, ‘Sacred’ is a myth
I remember seeing this tweet that said something along the lines of, the total number of artwork Picasso produced has been estimated at 50,000, while the world probably could recognize ~30 of them.
It’s the same idea when it comes to sports, academics, and life in general. The amount of hours and products produced by any giants in any field is far greater than what many of us would assume. So don’t be alarmed if after your 10th, 50th, or 100th run you aren’t where you want to be. You haven’t put in the hours that they have just yet. Nothing is sacred, every work can’t be a classic, it’s important to keep pushing to find the gems.
Also, life is never comprised of ‘ors,’ but ‘ands’. Meaning if I commit to writing, that doesn’t mean I have to choose between writing or xyz. If I want to, I can write and also become a surgeon. Someone else could be a surgeon and professional athlete. And another can be professional athlete and a stand-up comedian. I don’t have to define myself by what I do or commit to one field. Nothing is sacred. I decide what skills I want to sharpen.
All in all,
The most criticism I get when it comes to my stuff has to do with the format I decided to share it in (through writing). And though these statements do make me sad, it does not bother me. I am not a monkey. I’m creating for myself, and I will continue to create whatever I want to.
Right now, I’m personally trying to remember it’s a blessing to find things I can immerse myself in so deeply, and with time it will blossom to what it’s meant to be.
I wanna leave sharing this tweet I really appreciated: