I recently sent in my finished NaNo book to be printed in book form, just for the fun of it and so I have a copy to mark up. During the process of formatting, I found an article walking you through self-publishing steps.
And then I read it.
Basically, this one part of the article said: "If you're a terrible writer, than why waste the money pursuing this? If you're a good writer, just make sure you do it right,"
And that made me full of unspeakable anger.
So basically if I stink at something I shouldn't do it? Yes, quite possibly they meant practice more. But saying it like that sounds awfully like "Hey. You suck. Don't waste your money,"
So in this post I want to discuss many questions we face in pursuing our passions:
- Why do I do this?
- Why is this worth it?
- Why do I waste my money and time?
- Why do I continue if I'm so bad at this?
Why do I do this?
Art. Songwriting, stories, cooking, poetry, sewing, whatever you love.You either staple it to the wall to stare at every day, or look back a few hours later and change your mind about its amazingness.
If something called you to pick up that paintbrush then its part of you. Yeah maybe it was an assignment for class. Something you didn't think you'd ever love. But when you do something and realize you like it...that’s a power itself. That’s what it feels like to be passionate about something.
Don't give up
Yeah I know. The thing everyone says that changes nothing. But really. Don't give up. Whatever you're truly really passionate about...that's important.
My stories? My photography? My art? I don't ever think I'll pursue being a professional photographer, but I love it. When I capture those moments, it gives me a sense of power. I love it,
And that's what matters. You love it. If you love it than that is the reason you have to never give up. It doesn't matter if this won't get you into a college or anything like that...you love it. So don't give up doing it.
Why is this worth it?
Everyone has that one story or art they love. It may be an artist, a classic novel, a movie. You all love something. There's always that one story that you finished...and knew it made a difference no matter how small.
I have stories that I've returned to time and time again. Stories like that...those silly movies and random books...they kept me company and made me smile. They made a difference. There are stories that have caused me to meet some of my best friends.
And that's why it's worth it. Why?
Because someone made that art. Someone wrote that story. And I guarantee you that they thought that exact thought. Why is this worth it?
You never know who you are going to change with your art. Even if you never make it on the bestseller list...someone is going to find your art. And some day...you are going to make a difference to someone. And you'll be changed as well. Every bit of art you make no matter how much you hate or love it changes you.
Your art will change people. And if some pieces of art remain undiscovered...if that sketchbook stays under your bed...it still changed you. Everything’s thrown out and hung up on the wall has played its part in your life.
Why do I waste my money and time? Should I just listen to all that advice to stick with a real career and goal?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a flower fairy.
And naturally, I got the humoring smile from parents.
Eventually, I did mature, and so did my life goals. I soon decided that I did not want to be a flower fairy, but the Queen of England. The result from those I told was the same. The humoring smile.
Through my childhood and tween years my goals have changed quite often. I want to be an ARTIST! I want to be a writer! A librarian! A zookeeper!
And somehow...more often than not I still got the same response.
Why do we waste all the money and time? We should do what people say. Do what has been laid out for us. Go to college. Get a real job, not one of those wannabe crazy jobs. .
If what you’re passionate about is truly something you love, then you have to respect it.
I would like to make it clear that I am not saying you should not get a nice job or go to college or do any of this. In the long run, dropping out of school to paint in your parent’s basement might not be the smartest idea early in your life.
The time and money spent? Was it worth it? Every experiment and thing you have tried has been a step in your path. And if it has changed you in some way than of course it's been worth it. You took a little risk and it had made the tiniest of differences.
Why do I continue if I'm so bad at it?
All of this is now drawn back to that article I read. "Don't continue if you're bad at this,"
Naturally, people who say something along the lines of that, say you should practice instead. But let's be real. We all feel discouraged hearing something like this. We ignore anything else the people say about keeping at it, and fall into a pit of despair.
Why do I continue? Why do I keep writing if they keep getting worse? Why do I draw?. Ugh. I should give up. I shouldn't continue.
Sadly...many artists have thrown out their supplies because of that one sentence. That one question.
Well? Why do we continue?
I don't have any answer for you. Nope. I do not have one cheesy sounding response to get you to keep going.
I do have something to say though.
If you want to give up, then look back and think about why you started. Was in a school thing? A random decision? A book you read? Your mom’s idea?
How did you feel?
When I started writing, it was barely a real commitment. Little one page stories. As it progressed, I found that every time I wrote a story, develop a character, I felt powerful.
Why do I continue? Because I love stories. When I watch a TV show that makes me cry, it fills me with happiness. I love the characters, I love the story, I love the feelings put into it. My stories? I feel the same way. I love my stories. I poured my heart and soul into my characters and books.
That is why I continue.
Why do you continue? Why did you love this art? Does it make you feel like you can create worlds? Does it help you escape life? Is it something as simple as you love seeing your family smile when you show them? You liked having something to do when you get home?
That feeling you get when you do something you love...that is why you continue. That's why. Not some random thing I rambled about. This one is your choice. What you do with what you love is all your choice.
Art? Art is hard. You're going to be told quite often it isn't worth it. You’re going to make decisions and maybe regret it. But if this art form....is something you are truly passionate about...
Then it's going to be worth everything.