James and I went for a walk this afternoon. It was a breezy sunny day, but colder than we initially anticipated. We kept up a brisk pace, and talked a good amount about jobs, work, and future plans.
He pointed out to me that I’ve been mainly focused on the Chamber and the other job, and not so much on the art and the writing. But of course, one of the main reasons I was so excited when the other job fell into my life was because it resonated with me as something that I could manage to do well in a part-time capacity, which means that eventually, I can cut back at the Chamber and focus more on the writing and especially the art.
Listen. Even though my art site has been sorely neglected lately, that doesn’t mean it’s not on my mind or that I haven’t been working in a creative capacity. So, I admit, I got a little defensive when it seemed like I was being accused of lacking follow-through.
But I guess he kind of has a point. I can make excuses until the cows come home, but the truth is that getting started with real marketing and production of my artwork is going to take a lot of time, effort, and yes, money. And in the spirit of full disclosure, frankly, I’m terrified of really committing to the effort only to find myself a failure. It’s easy to commit to a job that you are certain will earn you at least a semi-dependable paycheck. Art is different. It’s a strange and unknown world to me. I’ve been an artist my whole life, but I’ve never really been involved in that world. There are rules that I will have to learn, etiquette, how to know if I’m selling myself short or selling out. It’s quite overwhelming, really, and it doesn’t matter how many people I have for support or out there cheering me on, ultimately, this is my thing, and I am the one that will succeed or fail.
Such do or die situations are par for the course on a job, but because I know the rules, how to set goals and meet them, it doesn’t really phase me. Art is personal. I really do care what people think of my work, and I can’t help it. I want my work to succeed, and failure in whatever form will hurt. So it becomes a matter of distancing, of finding a way to not care so much. So much easier said than done.