“The need to be a great artist makes it hard to be an artist.”
“The need to produce a great work of art makes it hard to produce any art at all.”
I don’t usually recognize in the moment that my inability to begin or finish a project is because of fear, although I’m writing this because I realize it’s a reality of mine. As artists we immediately label this lack of creative flow as laziness. We have to be careful when we pinpoint what appears to be blocking us or else it easily turns into guilt. We tell ourselves we have to do “this” or do “that” or else we fail.
This very week I attended a music workshop in regards to promo and branding in the music industry. As I walked out of the doors the bricks of guilt began stacking themselves a little higher. Thoughts of…
“I won’t be able to finish what I started with this album.”
“I took too long of a break to carry on where I left off.”
“I don’t have what it takes.”
“My story isn’t unique enough as a musician.”
“How in the world am I supposed to brand myself?”
Lately I keep hearing and seeing phrases about being nice or gentle to yourself. We need to love our inner artist to cure it’s fear. Stop yelling at ourselves. The truth is that we do have what it takes. It’s okay if we don’t always accomplish things on what we believe to be the correct timeline. It’s okay to take a little sabbatical or retreat sometimes. It’s okay to figure things out as we go. If we keep treating ourselves poorly because of our unrealistic and quick expectations we aren’t going to find any fulfillment. Neither are we going to be able to share this fulfillment. Be nice to yourself.