Every now and then it can all start to feel utterly hopeless. You struggle and strive to create, but you either get zero recognition for your efforts, or else the fun temporarily goes out of it. Occasionally, life events conspire to make creative time harder to find, or they make you sad enough to lose interest in being playful with your art, or else you look at the mountain you still need (or rather want) to climb and lose the will to take the next step.
What to do?
When reality sucks, the only place to go is into your imagination. That might sound like sheer denial, but it can be more powerful than that. Firstly, keep your eyes on the prize. Go back to that vision of what it feels like to succeed at what you love to do and keep that firmly in your mind’s eye.
Secondly, try to approach your art as a way to escape the bad things about your reality. Make it a refuge from the troubles. Go there when you want to feel safe and secure about yourself, your abilities and the world. The world you create in your art and surrounding your art is a world of your own design and that can sometimes be a much better place than your reality.
Remember that none of this is compulsory. You create because you want to. If you don’t want to, then that’s ok. You haven’t failed. You aren’t bad. On the other hand, you started creating for a reason. Try to recall what that reason was and see if it still motivates you to create. I bet it does.
I also think that how you imagine yourself to be can have a powerful, albeit sometimes utterly mysterious, bearing on the reality that gets created around you. If you live your life as if you are a successful artist, in whatever terms you choose to define your success, then it seems to be the case that the world around you somehow adjusts to your view of yourself. If you carry yourself that way, people accept that as your identity. If you look crestfallen and beaten, the world will continue to beat on you.
I don’t know precisely why this works, but if you nail your shingle to the door saying what you are, then suddenly you really are that thing. It’s as if your own label for yourself guides how others perceive and interact with you. So if you stick to your guns and assert that you are a creative genius, that’s what you are and that’s how people will treat you. People will expect you to behave like a creative genius. You have permission. You have license. You are what you is, you is what you am, you ain’t what you’re not.
So when you lose heart, as we all inevitably do at one time or another, remember that your talents are unique and that if you don’t create your art, it isn’t going to create itself. Similarly, if you don’t create yourself and create your day, you are leaving an awful lot to chance.