Carrie Leigh (carrie_leigh) wrote,
Carrie Leigh

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How to Feel Miserable as an Artist

I've been thinking a lot, lately. (It's a dangerous business, don'tcha know.) As an actress, I'm my own worst critic, and even as we opened The 39 Steps this week, I keep thinking, I'm a fraud, I'm no good, why do I even bother..etc. Then, I saw a quote that one of my TRULY artistic friends found.

"If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), 'Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?' chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death." - Steven Pressfield

Well, there you have it. That's me. Scared to death.

So in light of all my fear and insecurity, I found a list of what not to do as an artist.

1. Constantly compare yourself top other artists.
I do this. I do this constantly. I have a severe case of the 'she's prettier, thinner, better,' even though I know I shouldn't.

2. Talk about what you do to your family and expect them to cheer you on.
What I do takes time away from the family, which is hard on them. And I purposefully don't talk about what I do as much as I want to. It bores other people.

3. Base the entire success of your career on one project.
It's true. You can't do that. But, does it mean the reverse as well...

4. Stick with what you know.
I'm ready to do a drama, I think. A big, hairy, chew on the scenery drama. I've always avoided it in the past.

5. Undervalue your expertise.
Yep. Experience counts.

6. Let money dictate what you do.
Don't have a problem with this one, actually. ;)

7. Bow to societal pressures.
This is definitely one to think about.

8. Only do work that your family would love.
As this would encompass about 2 1/2 things, I agree.

9. Do whatever the client/customer/gallery owner/patron/investor asks.
That'll stifle some creativity, for sure.

10. Set unachievable goals to be accomplished by tomorrow.
It takes time. Even though I've been doing this for 20 years, I'm always learning, growing, seeing new ways to achieve things. So, yes. THIS.

That's it. A must read for all the writers, photographers, artists, actors and other creative types out there. Keep on!
Tags: free advice

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