What happens when you practice your arse off, put in the time, DO everything you can to be good at your craft…
…And everything remains the same?
My friends, this is a tough call, and a deeply personal one at that. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our goals for ourselves simply do not pan out. Sometimes the progress falters, sometimes the recognition is not forthcoming, and we are faced with a crossroads: Continue with the ‘status quo,’ or not?
It is a very tough call and we have to be realistic. Not everyone will become a celebrity — it’s simply not possible. Not everyone will win awards, and there is no such thing as perfection. We are human, flawed, and our best is sometimes not the best. It’s a cold, hard truth, and when facing that flat plateau, we have to be realistic and honest with ourselves. I can’t give answers, but I can tell you which questions I’d be asking:
Do you need the acclaim, the fame, the riches? If so, you must be honest about that, and you must understand just how many people actually achieve it. Also, why do you need it? You must have an honest answer for this because all those washed up celebs who can’t keep themselves out of rehab? They didn’t.
Are you doing this for yourself or others? And do you enjoy it?
How hard are you willing to work at it? I.e., are you willing to put up with months more fruitless work to cross that wide plain and get back to the mountain of learning? Rome wasn’t built in a day…
Do you truly believe in yourself or are you just going through the motions?
And, perhaps the hardest question of all: Are you willing to walk this path alone? It’s an unfortunate fact that many artistic pursuits are lonely. Family rarely supports your individual goals and may even try to sabotage you; are you strong enough to listen to your heart over theirs? Work and school schedules may — and often do — conflict; are you willing to put in the extra time before or after prior commitments? Even when you will be missing game nights, movies, leisure time, or coffee with friends? The greats never joked when they said art sometimes called for sacrifices….
I’m aware this all sounds really harsh, but how you answer these questions is up to you. There’s no one right answer. And you’re more than welcome to change your answers over time; we all do. The thing to keep in mind is how your goals fit you, so you have the best chance to keep moving forward.