One reality-snapping commonality I have continued to see as I work with artists all over the globe is that they are all overworked, underpaid, and exhausted.
These community-inspiring artists are often unconsciously expected to be energetic superheroes who garner sustenance and fulfillment by osmosis. Although they believe wholeheartedly in their causes and refuse to give anything less than every single ounce of energy and resources they have, artists simply cannot be bottomless founts of creativity and optimism.
Artists are mortal human beings who know deeply and thoroughly the fears and stresses that go along with poverty, imbalance, illness, powerlessness, stagnation, and depression.
And so, to all of you amazingly dedicated creative spirits, here is a warm reminder that being tired, not knowing how to prioritize the thousand tasks on your plate, not knowing how to tackle the complex problems in front of you, even downright failing — it’s okay.
JK Rowling has some words of wisdom. In her Harvard commencement address, “The Fringe Benefits of Failure,” she reminds us that even if our fear of “failure” come to fruition, it probably won’t kill us.
I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive.
If you failed, that means you just found one more way that won’t work. You succeeded in finding more information that will help you to make better choices as you continue moving forward.
I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. — Thomas Edison
But sometimes trying one more time is too much.
If you don’t have the energy to try one more way today, open up to someone close to you. Give them the opportunity to tell you how much we all appreciate the hard work you’ve been putting in. I’m always here to listen if you need a vote of confidence or an empathetic ear or a new perspective. When we band together, our reciprocal energy creates a positive cycle that buoys everyone.
If you need to lay on the floor for a little longer, that’s okay. But don’t stay down for too long. We believe in you, and when you get up, imagine us cheering for you as you try again.
(Featured image courtesy of Alamy, “With every failure comes a lesson” from The Guardian)