Why is this so hard?

Why is this so hard?

We do what we do out of love. Love for the medium, love for the subject, love of experimentation.

It would be nice to get some love back in return.

We're connection-seeking mammals. Our work lights a beacon that says to the world "I'm here, come join me".

When that invitation goes unanswered, it can feel like rejection. And rejection hurts.

And so we assume our work isn't ready or good enough yet. We're told to keep going, to stay consistent, to "show up".

And we do. We plan, we publish, we promote. We follow the best advice to take it slowly and let it build over time.

But if you're lost in an overgrown forest, a map is no good to you without a compass.

How can we know we're headed in the right direction? How can we trust the advice we're given along the way, and know that it's given in our best interests? Why does it feel like we're going round in circles?

Stop, just for a second.

Take yourself out of that space, and focus on the joy in the work, and the connections you've already made. Reach out to a friend or two. Seek out a critical ear or eye – someone's opinion you can trust, that can help you find a landmark to navigate by.

You've got this. And I don't say that lightly. Every day you demonstrate your knowledge, skill, creativity, passion, energy... Not every element has to go into every iteration of your work, but it's there. You can see it, which means others can see it too.

Keep putting love into your work, and the love will find its way back to you.

While you're waiting, if you want someone to walk the creative path with you, I'm here.

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Jamie Larson
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