Say it out loud.
Long before the artists you know and love were famous, prolific, and inspiring you to pursue your creative dreams, they were not that. They were unknown for their creative work and putting in long days hashing out their vision. They were struggling to define their identity as artists, writers, musicians, and performers. They were talking about things they hadn’t yet created. They were making bad art on their way to making better art.
In short, the creatives your look up to were doing what you have the opportunity to do now. Which can be a scary prospect. It’s much safer to believe that someone needs to give you permission to do the work that matters to you. Or that you need a certain amount of money to be able to prioritize your creative work. Bills are real and there’s a good chance that you don’t need as much money as you think you do to be able to put more time into making your art.
Of course, privilege factors into who can more easily prioritize their creative work. Some of the artists you exault might have famous parents or come from money or be white or thin or cisgender or male or able-bodied or heterosexual or neurotypical. They might have been given a head start in big and little ways that exponentially benefited them. Still, I’m sure there are also creatives you admire who had and maybe still have a lot stacked against them.
One of the most valuable lessons I learned in my 20s was that saying things out loud makes them more real. Additionally, people tend to believe other folx and accept what’s being shared as true. Because of this, talking about the things I was doing and wanted to be doing gave me access to opportunities that I would have missed had I kept my mouth shut. And while at some point it was vital that I took action, on the way there, I shared my ideas incessantly.
Through this process of writing and talking about the things that I wanted to be able to do creatively, financially, and professionally, I stopped caring about whether or not things actually worked out. Failure, which happens a lot to anyone reaching for something worthwhile, didn’t make me a liar. My truth was connected to my desire. My ability to realize that truth was bigger than just me and, thus, not something I had full control over.
Wherever you are in your creative practice, you have the ability to start talking about the work that matters to you. If you have no one to talk to, then write it out. However you need to, name what you want. Say it out loud to yourself and to others. Talk about your dreams and start to think of them as possible. The artists you admire did and are doing the same thing. They are choosing themselves and their art. Just like you have the ability to do.
So, what are you giving yourself permission to say out loud?