Quote of the Day: Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. Galatians 6:4-5 The Message
Love this quote, and it seems like a good one to use on another round of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group which happens on the first Wednesday of every month, created and supported by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Please, click over to his blog to connect with other insecure writers, or join the club. It’s a chance to commiserate with other creatives.
While on our Wild West motorcycle ride this summer, I felt drawn to the dead trees. Big, old trees stand out, stark and bare, amongst the greenery. The smaller branches that held the leaves are gone, the bark stripped and the core polished smooth from the wind. The trunk still looks so strong and the branches angle out and around. Nothing hides its inner beauty. I mentioned this in a post in October, and my sister Joy wrote in her comments: In Tarot The Tower is sometimes an image of a tree burning. Clearing out the old, making way for the new.Everything about that trip was a new journey for me. In the past five years, I have let go of old, hurtful relationships and rebuilt my life.
When I started blogging three years ago, I wanted my blog to be a source of light and inspiration. There is so much garbage out there, way too much negativity. I wanted to lift up what is beautiful and good and gives others hope and encouragement. I wondered who was supporting the arts, and decided I can be that voice as well.
So, I made it a point to write about performances and artists in my area. I started getting invited to theatres in the metro. It felt good to be noticed for my reviews and support of the arts. Now, I’m not so sure I’m doing the right thing. I share my reviews on the website of our local paper, for free. When I asked if they could pay me for my reviews, they said, No, we don’t have funds for an entertainment blog. And, that’s it. Just No. Not, no, and thank you, or good job, or we appreciate having your reviews here. My reviews have been shared on the internet by the theatres in the metro. My words are quoted in their advertisements and credit given to the paper!
Okay, I can accept that newspapers don’t have any money. They haven’t figured out how to adjust to the digital age where everyone reads online. They, like the book publishing houses, can’t afford to work with and pay new writers, so we have to come up with a new plan.
To add to my discouragement, I was at an event at the local college where I have attended and promoted their shows for several years. I have reviewed and encouraged people to attend plays. I talked to the head of the theatre department and he acted like he didn’t even know who I was. My friend pointed out that I reviewed two of the plays he’d had there in the past few months. I mentioned having them on the website of the local newspaper, then he was like, “Oh, yes, I have seen those.” Whatever. No Thank you. No invitations to shows. No connection that we could all work together in our community to support the arts.
Am I wasting my time doing all this reviewing? Should I be doing other work that leads to a more profitable future? Am I trying too hard to fit in?
There you go, my insecure post is filled with self-doubt.
Whatever your pursuit is today, may you be filled with courage and self-confidence. Jump into your art with a strong heart, believing that what you do does make a difference.
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: Have you ever stopped doing something because you thought it was a waste of time and no one appreciated it anyway?