What’s On Your Stand?

It used to be more common for vendors to set up stands with food, clothes, jewelry, or whatever strange oddities they created.

Now, we mostly do that on the internet.

Sometimes, I feel like my stand has nothing on it; that I’m just kind of hanging around, watching all the people walk by.

I see the other vendors around me shouting at passersby, telling them to “buy, buy, buy!”

I look down at my stand and don’t see much more than the wood it’s made from.

Just words. Air. My thoughts.

But, that’s only sometimes.

I have a little workshop, behind the stand, and this is where I spend much of my time.

Because, like many others, I’m a craftsman.

Inside the workshop, I hone my craft, creating pieces here and there.

Re-sculpting, re-framing, re-working…just crafting.

Once in a while, I will show my work to someone whose judgement I trust. This is because I want to get better, not because I want validation.

At least, that’s what I regularly tell myself.

The truth is, receiving validation for your work is really nice. That’s why so many in the creative field strive to be movie stars, rock stars, shooting stars.

And a reason why so many fail.

When the validation becomes the key motivator, it has a profound impact on the work.

Even those who reach “the top” are liable to suffer the hardest falls if they put out a bad piece.

Because, here’s another truth:

Validation is fleeting.

Doing something good that the public sees sets expectations.

And meeting (or exceeding) expectations leads to rewards of further validation.

If one person or a million said “Good job,” it would feel good for a time, but eventually, we’d return to that same place of wanting validation.

We get a little bit.

Then, we want more.

But it always leads back to that desire, which will consume us if we let it.

Those who truly succeed in their respective creative fields are those who are in it for the long haul, primarily because they enjoy making their things. They do it whether or not they receive validation.

This is how I’m trying to view my own creative work.

While I have little to offer at this point aside from my “experiences in crafting”, I will continue to try, at least. Try to maintain, improve and offer encouragement to those who are doing the same.

Eventually, I’ll have something on my stand that I can really be proud of.

Where is your little stand and what’s on it?

The Beating Heart of Creative Work

Social Media Detox Project: Day 29

I’m having fun diving deeper into the characters I’m creating for my novel.

Figuring out all their quirks, and how the different world-building elements affect their lives and personalities is an interesting way to examine my own worldview.

I guess I’m learning more about myself, as I slowly uncover the beating heart of my creations.

What I Did Today

Exercise

Novel writing

Posted a YouTube video

Writing critique for a friend

Something I Read Today

“The veined stone will be his monument, when his own veins are drained by an embalmer; when his limbs are set like marble, an inscription of his virtues will be picked out in gold.” -From Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Something I Learned Today

I need to continue to remain aware of my self-doubt, but not let it take control over me. I need to continue believing in what I’m doing and allow the flicker of what I’m trying to say shine through everything I create.