Dedicated to the starving artist, the struggling artist, the committed artist, the brave artist, the relentless artist, the person with their hand out, the person with passion, desire, and a dream…
This post really struck a chord for me… and it is a trigger. I love you Leslie for getting mad… there is an issue hidden beneath the surface of this long conversation… so much really jumped out at me even if not about me, “I’m too great a genius to work…”, “some of you need a hustle that requires work…” and my favorite, “the starving artist mantra…”
In 2011 I self-published my first book, Finding Your Force a Journey to love. For me it was important to self publish for many reasons. The most important was that I truly wanted to have complete contol over my words, what I would or wouldn’t allow to be cut, censored or silenced. I wanted no one to touch my story! If any one was going to kill my darlings it would be me. MY memoir almost killed me. It took almost everything from me. Even after it was published, printed and for sale on amazon. The work that would follow shifted. It started with ten hour days. I don’t know many writers who can sit in a chair for ten fucking hours working! And I say working because being a writer is hard work!
This is not just a life…
This is not just my art…
This is not just my craft…
This is what I do for a living… and I work hard! (And hell yeah I should be paid…)
This is what I have chosen to do for the rest of my life…
Doing this work I became my own one woman marketing, communcations, sales and public relations team. In an attempt to insult me I have been called “a self promoter…” like that’s a bad thing. I have had the absolute privilege of having my projects supported in successful fundraising efforts to complete, publish and market my book. And yes even some of that money helped to keep me from being evicted. And becuase writing is my work… it would have killed me to take on a second full time job! That and I had my reasons for leaving the 9-5 job!
I know what is to work that 9 to 5 that paid me well over $80K a year… I know that life… and no thank you… I am good. My decision to leave that job was terrifying. I found my worth in having certain things. Then I started to see these things as “just things” some of those things I miss having of course, but what I now find important needed to adjust and align with my pay decrease! Decrease I use lightly, because a complete different repsonse should be written for all of the things I have given away, done for free, women I have supported… all contributing factors to my owning my worth and demanding I be paid for it!
My worth in things… the real value, my real worth came from the words I put on the page.
These days I have been obsessed with money, with my work, with being paid my worth, with being paid for the hard work that I do and the tremendous contributions that I make. I am constantly giving back even when I don’t share it with the world. My giving back, paying it forward and supporting others is not anything I need to brag about… The universe knows… and the universe provides. Today what I am obsessed with is my work, it being valued and respected.
Respecting my art is a HUGE TRIGGER for me. And I absolutely have no use or need for pity. I don’t need anyone feeling sorry for me. I am too good for that. Yes Jani, I am too much of a genius–LOL!
When we quantify art to qualify it we deem what we see as worthy and valuable, and many artists haven’t been seen as valuable and worthy. We haven’t been valued because we have been taught that a title, a real job has more value than the work we do as artists… as if this is a hobby.. and I challenge that any day… every day of the week.
My hustle is legit hard work! I don’t see that stopping anytime soon. Yo Leslie, thank you for posting that status this is an important conversation–just became my blog for today. xo
And to my artists! Never stop working!
And so it is!