I work and associate with artists of all sorts. It’s not just writers, but film specialists, photographers and painters. Occasionally, one of them decides that this dream they’ve been chasing just doesn’t feel right anymore. They don’t enjoy the hassle of working by day while being an artist by night, and have decided to just throw in the towel. And while I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing (my wife went from actress to doctor and couldn’t be happier), if you’re quitting just because you’re frustrated, you’re doing the one thing that successful artists everywhere did not.
Becoming a leader in any field is a tough accomplishment. You have to constantly be in a state of mind that makes you want to improve while being patient enough to understand that nothing happens overnight. Now throw in the fact that artists, much like a lot of professions as of recent, are a dime a dozen and suddenly the goal of becomes that much more daunting. The odds seem against you and the stress can sometimes wear down the soul.
But fortitude is the name of the game. For example, Picasso was penniless and unsuccessful for years during his Blue Period. As disheartened as he was, he committed to drawing, though he was nearly as poverty-stricken as some of the grim depictions of poor that he rendered. It wasn’t until his Rose Period nearly ten years later that he truly emerged as one of the 20th century’s greatest painters. Resilience, stamina, endurance, these were what helped him through the trying times.
It’s not just Picasso though that blossomed. Hundreds of household names such as Vincent Van Gogh, Edgar Allen Poe and Dylan Thomas are living testaments to what willpower can bestow. You don’t have to be a starving artist like some of them, but just continuing to nurture your talent without surrender should be enough. Don’t jeopardize the wonderful art that you may gift to the world someday just because times are tough. It’s like George Bernard Shaw once said, “Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.” It would be a shame if you deprive us of what you can do.