To those of you who create, remember that your craft is old.
Writers, painters, musicians, actors, poets, dancers, artists… your craft is older than the self-defeating loop. You share a lot with your artistic precedent, with those generations of past creators who did what you do.
First creations are almost always met with silence. All creations are almost always met with silence. Your creative ancestors physically revealed their craft not hoping immediately for hundreds of thousands of hearts, likes, comments, views, retweets, subscribers or applauding fans. Creating for a mass audience was barely conceivable before this tyranny of quantification.
What hasn’t changed is the beauty in creating for one. One deeper connection, one smile, one reflection, one moment of further inspiration, one opportunity to perform, one reason to keep creating. Those historical artists whose names we know were the rare few, most could only ever hope to reach one. That didn’t stop them. There is infinity between zero and one.
A love letter to you, lonely creator: keep creating. “0 likes” is a lie if you like your own craft. Unload your burdens, let them breathe. Find your mirror in process. Find your love in reflection. The spiritual strength of the artist has always been the power to lean into uncertainty, to find balance without counterweight, to create without practical purpose. I wish you that strength. Keep creating.
Strum your self-judgment and dip your paintbrush in doubt. Dance to the rhythm of pain and capture your loneliness in verse. Create in obscurity and in community. Create from pain and for love. Create both without and within concept. Create to dissolve hate.
Don’t hate yourself. Don’t hate your work. Love yourself, and love your work. Love the inherent perfection in what you’re able to manifest with body and mind. Love the inevitable imperfection which produces growth. Love both the music and the silence that follows. Love the inspiration and the distraction.
Never let ones and zeroes crush your inspiration. Tend your fire.