Sometimes I feel discouraged. I have all of these lofty dreams of being an artist. But no matter what, I feel like I am always falling short, being unrealistic, running out of time, too old...the list is quite long, but I'll stop there. But none of these thoughts serve me. So, if you sometimes feel the tug of self doubt and are drowning in negative thoughts toward yourself and your craft, take a deep breath and reset.
This is clearly easier said than done. But we, both you and me, should try. All of our doubt and discouraged feelings are things we would never project onto someone else. We would encourage those around us to try, to continue, to enjoy, to be patient. Let's extend that love to ourselves. Sometimes life makes it hard for us to pursue our passions, but we must not give up.
For me, changing my mindset is critical when I start to feel clouded by stress and overwhelmed by a lack of productivity in my creative life. I have to take a step back and tell myself it is okay. I have to refocus on why I create art, not on what or how much. The process has to come back to the forefront, not the product. With this slow shift in the way I am thinking, I find that everything leans more toward joy. The moments with the people around me become beautiful again; they are not seen as moments where I cannot work on my projects. And this joy translates. My art improves even if I have to take breaks or work on it in is short bursts. My mood improves even if I have to put my art away for days at a time.
This is a continual work in progress. Just as this website is. I have ambitions of writing weekly posts. Maybe even posting twice a week! (Surely, I must be joking.) But, in reality, I post about once a month...if I'm lucky. And you know what, that's okay. I'm keeping the flame alive even if I can't tend to it yet with the vigor I want. It can feel disappointing. I think it is important to acknowledge the negative thoughts even if you work to reframe them and you are not inviting them to stay.
I feel disappointed. I feel sad. I feel frustrated. There, I said it. You can, too. It's okay.
However, because I have hung on, I feel stronger. I find new ways to include creating in my life, and that feels good. I want to focus on that feeling. And I want to teach my children that life isn't all one thing. Sometimes we cannot focus only on our passions, but that does not mean we cannot feel good about what we do and what we accomplish. We should never give up on the things we enjoy. So, know you aren't alone when you feel down, but please hold on with me.