Whats my voice?!! My Niche! My focus, the purpose with my art? What sort of writer/artist do I want to be?
I’m looking at other bloggers and artists talking about success, life, happiness etc. Podcasts mostly. When I self help book i sometimes get envious. Because it’s the sort of book i imagined myself writing once. But my envy is also with his success. Writers like him are doing a better job with their work than I am with mine, and for some they’ve done it in a shorter space of time.
No doubt because they have extra time, they can do more. Whereas I have a job to go to.
I had the same doubts back in 2012 when I wanted to be a blogger about nutrition. I rapidly understood I didn’t want my head to be in books all the time researching topics I didn’t care about. Ending up with a blog that doesn’t stand out.
I have more doubts since. It seems a regular occurrence for me. My annual, even biannual existential crisis.
It’s the same doubt I have now. How much self-help, personal advice do I want to write or curate from others? I do care about the same topics psychology, productivity, philosophy. But I’m despairing that I will never be as good at it. I don’t have the desire to invest enough time to get good.
Maybe that’s what caused my motivation to wane, doubts to arise. I’m comparing myself to others success. Maybe I’m baulking away from hard work? Laziness? Because I’m trying to fit so much work into the time I don’t have.
Or maybe my heart and desire are not in it. A lack of connection means a lack of feedback. Motivation by yourself is hard. Maybe it’s why I turned to art. It’s less head driven. Maybe I’m too impatient.
There’s a block inside of me. A lack of drive, and desire. I’m still plagued by a lack of self-worth. I can’t imagine success, or what it looks like, so it’s hard to get excited about it.
What’s the difference between just laziness and the genuine truth its the wrong path for me?
Am I trying to motivate myself to do something I don’t care about?
What I’m struggling with like may other creatives is the question ‘what’s my creative voice?’ That particular style, and focus that makes my art, uniquely mine.
A big question is do I want to reiterate what they are writing? Finding inspiration in others is a good way to create, but to copy what they are doing? Be the sort of writer they are, in the same niche, saying the same things, using the same research? I have my doubts, and it’s here where I find myself again in self doubt.
It’s hard to get income if you don’t have a voice, directed into a niche filled with people who are willing to offer you money for your ideas, products.
Take for example a blog post. When I read it there are some good ideas here. Do I want to create my version of it? Perhaps in some small way yes. But not all his posts. It’s why I link to others, I don’t want to elaborate further.
I have a lot of ideas, but do I want to write about every single one? I still seem to be obsessed with collecting ideas. I’ve been here before. I had so many stored up. It seems I love learning, but creating about them I feel less upbeat.
I remember my mandate for this blog. What advice would I give to my younger self? I’ve found there’s far too much good advice out there to do that, and I don’t have the time to write about it all.
Maybe I’m just not a good enough businessman, finding ways to monetise my work! Ideas tickle me, but the hard work I stop at. Creating a product to sell or service to offer.
Maybe I’m just tired. Or maybe I’m tired trying to squeeze myself into a role. Convincing myself I’m something I’m not, a personal development writer. Either way, I can’t see an income from what I write. So I’m still stuck.
Maybe I’m overthinking this. Focusing too hard on work is sucking all the joy out of it. I’m too focused on making it. Avoiding fun and people, the loneliness and lockdown are making it hard to motivate myself.
I not giving myself much time for escapist diversions, to recharge, find my purpose, my why again. Maybe I need the advice of a mentor. Perhaps they can see what’s going on here better than I can.
I feel weary and empty. That all my striving and efforts have come to nothing. After eight years of writing still nowhere.
I’ve been here before, not long ago, with the same worries. I’ve needed a break. Away from the pressure, I put myself under.
Wait a minute?!!!
Attachment and letting go
A-ha. I’ve done it again! I’ve fallen into the trap of answers. Trying to find them where there is none. I happen recently, trying to figure out Buddhism itself.
Once again, my desire for clarity, answers and not getting them has to lead me to doubt myself and the path ahead. Ir’s analysis paralysis again.
I made the same mistake I always make. Try to work out what I want all in my head and then go and do it. But that’s not how artists work, they do it by creating art and then working it out. It’s only possible when you have your work in front of you.
I do need a break but I also need to focus more on the path ahead. The answers will come. When in doubt create good art. That’s the advice of, Neil Gaiman.
Slow down and concentrate on the now. The truth that the answers will come. Meet the world halfway and the rest will happen if its own accord.
I need to take my advice more. I’m still troubled by not knowing what sort of writer-artist I want to be. I need to let go of the obsession I have with the answers first, the work second.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”Steve Jobs
It’s also ironic too, another post had an answer. Many of us have a head driven mindset, an intellectual bias. Find the answer, the ideas that work then use them to craft. ‘Head teaching the hands.’
But the post points out an alternative. Behavioural Activation Therapy is about outside-in. The ‘hands teach the head’. It works with anxiety because it drags people out of their minds and into physical work.
I need to let go of having all the answers and remember, making art is the way to find them.
Create, and take it from there. What does the world need right now? What do I offer that can help?
I also need to care for myself better, show myself a little more compassion. Some downtime, focus on diet and get some exercise. Things are that are again based upon the body.
All this self doubt can can come from low blood sugar, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, lack of outdoors, lack of connection to others. Too much pressure on myself, too much responsibility all in one go, too many goals at once.
Connect to others, reach out for advice, instead of trying to do it all by yourself. Create with no thought about what or whom. That’s the difference, creating for others has the pressure to do it well.
Do housework, run, use my hands, craft, build, and the rest will come.
Crippling self doubt hits me often, but I’ve become better at addressing it, as this post hopefully shows. I do have some idea on what to write and paint about so I have some clues, a thread to follow.
I feel again that I’ve written a post like this before. It’s a struggle and I’m wondering is it really this hard or am I making things this hard?
The Buddhist in me says yes. I keep falling into these traps because I’m expecting answer without doing the creative work to find them.
The answers are in the art. Buddhism does help provide some solace and guidance to those artist like me who struggle with self-doubt. I want to find my voice, yet the truth his I haven’t created enough art yet to see the answer.
In this place we need to go back to basics, Be expressive, speak your mind, say what you want to say.
Make good art, put it out into the world, see what happens. The rest you will make it up as you go along.
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