Today I was inspired by a blog post from Judith over at Artistcoveries, in which she asks the question – Who do I want to be as an artist? I love thinking about stuff like this, so I wrote the question down in my journal and brainstormed my own answers. Here is what I came up with:
Who do I want to be as an artist?
- Unafraid to experiment
- Unafraid to offend
- Unafraid of mockery
- Confident in my creative abilities
- Willing to share the good, the bad, and the ugly of my art
- Use the materials I love, not feeling forced to use what is considered artistically “professional”
- Confident enough to charge what my art is worth (probably one of the hardest parts of being an artist in my opinion)
- I want to be loved and respected by other artists and art lovers, especially those in the autism, bipolar, and outsider art worlds
- I want to create what I like
- Overcome my fear of doing in-person art events (currently hindered by my crippling social anxiety)
- Monetarily successful enough to rely on my art for my general income
Do you relate to any of these wishes? Who do you want to be as an artist?
- I don’t owe you anything!
- I’m nothing like you.
- You don’t own me and you never did.
- You deserve what you got.
- Sometimes I feel nothing for you.
- You are at fault for so much.
- You have no one to blame but yourself.
- You are lucky to have anyone who still cares.
- I’m a saint for forgiving you.
- Without me, you’d have nothing!
- I hate you sometimes.
- You’ll never break me.
- I’ll never crack.
- I am a much better person than you’ll ever be.
- I’m smarter than you.
- You fuel my creativity with anger, disgust, frustration, and grief.
- I’ve made something good out of your mess.
- I am superior – by actions and attitude.
- Your religion doesn’t hide the truth.
- I found love and success in spite of you.
- I’m the person you always wanted to be, but couldn’t.
- Toys have always been better company than you.
- You helped me find and lose faith in God.
- I will heal.
- I’m STRONGER than you.
*By the way, BetterHelp has a great article on emotional abuse, I would recommend it!
Here are a few important questions to ask yourself about your purpose and meaning in life! For fun, I have provided my own answers to them as an example! If you do answer these, I would recommend taking the time to write them down, think about them carefully, and be as honest as you can!
- What is your life work? My Answer: Writing, sharing ideas and emotions, creating art, advocating for and comforting others with autism, mental illness, and chronic pain/illness.
- What is the meaning of your life? What gives you purpose? My Answer: Inspiring others (kids, fellow Aspies, those with disabilities, other outsiders). Loving family, friends, and animals (loyalty).
- What is your passion? My Answer: Writing, spirituality, philosophy, psychology, toys, books, animals, art, creativity.
- What does the world lose if I wasn’t here? My Answer: A child-like, loving heart and spirit. Loss of inspiration and creativity. The loss of a voice crying out for justice and harmony. Loss of a unique thinker.
- What would it take to begin fully living my dreams today? My Answer: Time, the willingness to fail or be ridiculed, the possibility of being proven wrong, unwavering belief in myself, trust in what is meant to be, hope.
Yesterday I received the news, a publisher officially wants to publish my picture book manuscript. It’s only a small press, and my book will only start out with a small run, but depending on how hard I am willing to work to promote it, the sky is the limit. I am so excited and can’t wait to hold my own book in my hands. I think the first thing I will do when I get it is to sniff it and savor that new book smell.
Along with all the excitement and the pride, comes a lot of nerves though. I keep hearing the same refrain go through my head: what if no one wants to buy my book? What if I set up a book reading or signing and absolutely no one comes? Or even worse, what if a bunch of people come and I get all tongue tied or want to puke while talking to them? What if none of the local bookstores will even let me come speak? And one of my biggest fears of all…what if I don’t even like my book? After all, I’m not illustrating it, so what happens if the book looks nothing like I imagined?
If only I could shut all of these thoughts down long enough to actually enjoy the process. Is this normal? Do all writers go through these panic attacks before they sell their first book? Someone please reassure me that I am not freaking losing my mind!