Cc: Confidence, Confident
Bolstering Your Self-Worth Day by Day
Even though I’ve practiced writing and drawing for a couple of decades, I never describe myself as a writer or an artist. Instead, I belittle my work with phrases like, “…they’re just little whimsical drawings…” or “I’m just sort of working on some stuff…”
But then, two things might happen.
1. You meet someone who tells you, “I’m a musician” with total confidence and ease. You assume that person has practiced for two decades, makes his living from his art, and performs regularly. When you look him up online, you discover you have football fields full of more experience than he does, and yet, here he is, claiming the title you crave and yet shy away from.
Sometimes, envy can be instructive.
2. You’ve started to practice your craft daily (see “Dd: defining daily”). Let’s say it’s been six months. You don’t have anything to show for it yet, no finished canvas or publication, but a lot of projects have been started and developed a little bit at a time, and you love all of these beginnings and think about them when you’re not working on them, and that’s when it happens:
You meet someone new and they ask you, “What do you do?” To your surprise, you hesitate for only a second or two, and during that time the months of daily effort stack up behind you like building blocks, pressing your spine tall and straight, and you hear yourself say quite naturally, “I’m a writer.” (Or artist, painter, musician…)
Daily practice clarifies your sense of self and bolsters your confidence. In time, this new strength powers you through tougher and tougher projects, ones that would have seemed impossible six months earlier.
It’s in the practice that you earn the title of Artist or Writer or Painter because it’s in the daily grind where you build your sense of identity and faith in your work. Showing up every day, especially when you have nothing (yet) to show for it in any easy fashion (like a gallery show), proves your dedication and passion for your craft. Once you have this disciplined dedication, sense of self, and vision, you can better handle the ups and downs of making your work public, facing rejection, and managing success.