So, you commit art.
However, you feel...stuck. Unsatisfied. You want to do more as an artist. Can do more.
You just don't know how.
You've seen all the advice books out there, all meant to help you. Most of them come from people who are not artists, haven't struggled with the fear.
This book may help you, but you have to want to change and then be willing to do the hard work.
Inside, find straightforward advice on things you need to think about to grow as an artist. The "Check Ins" provide thoughtful questions, meant to get you pointed in the right direction.
You must to do the work. I cannot want it more than you do.
The Business for Breakfast series contains bite-sized business advice. This is a 201 level book, with intermediate advice for the professional.
Be sure to read all the books in this series!
Blaze Ward writes 4,000 words of fiction per day, publishing half a dozen or more novels per year. He also co-runs a publishing company, and has learned publishing from the ground up. At some point, he realized that marketing was as important as releasing the book into the wild—after all, readers need to learn the book exists. So he practiced marketing as well, learning which tricks work best for beginning publishers (as opposed to the big ones and the traditional ones). This isn't a book of shortcuts, per se, but it will save you a lot of time and frustration. – Kristine Kathryn Rusch
My base assumption is that one of the reasons you're reading this book is because you're an artist. (And not just a writer, which many of you are. This is about the greater thing called art.)
But what does that mean?
It means, first and foremost, that you're different than most people. There is nothing wrong or shameful about that. I'm aware you've probably heard that before.
Do you actually believe it? Deep in your heart, are you comfortable with being an artist? Are you truly okay with marching to a different drummer?
Or does that fact make you feel ashamed occasionally? Do you question whether or not you're normal? (That is, with the assumption that normal is somehow equivalent with right. For me and other artists I know, normal should be classified as boring.)
It isn't always easy to accept that eighty-five to ninety percent of the population isn't like you.
Where did I get that number from? Science!
In the mid-80s, scientists conducted an experiment on thousands of people of different ages, different background, different ethnicities, etc.
The experiment went as thus: put a group of people in a quiet, dimly lit room, then play soft music and make everything as comfortable as possible.
After fifteen minutes, when people have gotten really comfortable and relaxed, have the sound of a gunshot go off in the room. Loudly.
Lastly, test people's saliva for traces of adrenaline.
Eighty-five to ninety percent of the people tested no longer had any traces of adrenaline in their saliva after twenty minutes.
Ten to fifteen percent of the people tested still had traces of adrenaline in their saliva for as much as two hours after the original gunshot.
Guess who those people were?
You got it. The introverts. (For more information on this study, see The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron, Ph. D.)
While I know a few artists who are extroverts—mostly musicians—most artists are introverts.
Different than eighty-five to ninety percent of the population.
Accept your differences. Embrace the fact that you are physically wired differently than everyone else. Keep checking in with yourself when you do feel alienated. Remember that it's okay.
This is the first of many sections in this book where I'm going to ask you to "check in" with yourself.
What I want you to do is to put the book to the side, close your ereader or turn off your phone or actually put the physical book down and ask yourself a question, or meditate on something.
For this check in, ask yourself this:
Are you okay with being different? How okay are you with this?
As part of growing your inner artist, you need to develop acceptance of your differences. Then either embrace them or forgive yourself for them, depending.
I'll talk more later about not looking outside for judgement but only inside. For now, your work is to accept, embrace, and forgive.