Behind the Curtain:
Unraveling the Mystery of “Making It”
as a Full-Time Artist
1. DO YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR CALLING & YOUR CAREER?
That thing that you can’t not do.
That thing that’s in your bones and shows up in a variety of different ways
What You Wake Up In the Morning to Do
where you wake up in the morning to go
2. ARE YOU READY AND WILLING TO DO THE WORK?
Living as an artists is SLOW work
Slow getting established
Slow getting to a place of sustainability
Slow building your fanbase
Slow building your network
Slow to get good
“Don’t worry about the fruit. Worry about the soil. If you feed the soil the right things, the fruit will take care of itself”
TAKE TIME TO BE EXCELLENT
3. DO YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR WORK WHEN NOBODY ELSE DOES?
If what you’re doing only matters when people are watching you,
you’re not supposed to be doing it.
4. WILL YOU ALLOW YOURSELF TO MAKE MISTAKES?
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
~Ira Glass (This American Life)