Be Gracious And Prolific

by | Jun 1, 2011

I just read some devastatingly good advice from one writer to another. It concerns one writer’s jealous nature, as she witnesses her peers get the book deals that are not coming her way.

I know it’s not easy being an artist. I know the gulf between creation and commerce is so tremendously wide that it’s sometimes impossible not to feel annihilated by it. A lot of artists give up because it’s just too damn hard to go on making art in a culture that by and large does not support its artists. But the people who don’t give up are the people who find a way to believe in abundance rather than scarcity. They’ve taken into their hearts the idea that there is enough for all of us, that success will manifest itself in different ways for different sorts of artists, that keeping the faith is more important than cashing the check, that being genuinely happy for someone else who got something you hope to get makes you genuinely happier too.

Most of those people did not come to this perspective naturally. And so, Awful Jealous Person, there is hope for you. You, too, can be a person who didn’t give up. Most of the people who didn’t give up realized that in order to thrive they had to dismantle the ugly jealous god in their heads so they could instead serve something greater: their own work.

I would say something about how perfect this line of thinking is, but there’s no need. The only need I see is to look inside and make sure that any ego-fed emotions are put in check so inspiration can travel at will.