There are things you can control, and others you cannot.
Outcomes are not under your jurisdiction, however much you would like it to be otherwise.
When we ship creative work, and by that I simply mean make our creations public, we have little control over how or who responds to what we bring.
This is frustrating.
Why would anyone want to pour so much time into uncertainty?
That’s a great question and the reason you have to have a driver that digs deeper than reactions. Your creative work needs to be rooted in a vocational calling to bless the world, even if the world initially does not realise how much it needs to be blessed with what you bring to it.
Very few writers hit the New York Times list before a boatload of pages that no one has, or ever will, read.
How many pictures are painted by those considered masters end up in the trash?
Is there any musician who is not swamped by their mediocre offerings before they hit a vein of gold and pull a life-changing tune from their heart?
Its digging through the mediocre, slogging the search and seeking the gold, that leads to the win. The creative life is a treasure hunt. A volume of work, much of it unappreciated, is part of the life we have chosen.
The point here is, standing on the peak of success requires climbing over many layers laid over time. Layers of testing and trying, learning, and leaning into God to hear His direction.
Our character is formed, and our value marinated, through the challenges we face on the climb to the top, however that top may look for you.
If we give up because our outcome was not in line with what we hoped, expected or prayed, most of us would be sat in the waiting room twiddling our fingers waiting for the rapture to happen.
The creative life is not one that comes with guarantees.
Living full throttle and believing in better is more challenging than settling for status quo and dying a long, painful death of the soul over decades.
But I have found that many short, sharp deaths of my ego are far less painful than an elongated demise never trying, never believing.
How do we know something’s going to work? How can we be assured the world will jump to embrace what we bring?
There are some ways to approach this creative dilemma that negate the nightmare of complete disaster, but I’m sorry to say, at the end of the day, there’s only one way to find out…
Make it anyways.
Do it despite the doubt.
In the making, the doing, the pursuing, creating and cultivating, something happens that cracks open a rich vein within us, and all of the pain and disappointment, hoping, praying, seeking and searching, add richness to the oil that flows out.
I believe in the creative life. I am a creative. I can do nothing other than create and bring value to the table.
Whether people eat it or not? That’s not in my wheelhouse.
What is in my power is the making of the thing.
That’s my stewardship.
At time of writing, most likely less than fifty people will read these words. Even less will respond to them in a tangible way that assures me I’m on the right track.
Should I cease and desist from punching the keys. Consign my creativity to one-day, some-day, or should I keep writing?
It’s a stupid question. Because the writing is as much for me as anyone else. Even an audience of one is enough to make this journey worthwhile.
Because the day will come when one will become ten, and ten a thousand, until millions are reading the black marks on the page, and innumerable lives are changed for the better and called to their greatness.
How do I know that?
That’s the whole point.
I’m writing this today because I think YOU are worth it. And I appreciate your footprints alongside mine as we tread this creative path together, looking to discover ourselves and share our worth with the world.