Your art is not meant for everybody.
Some people just aren’t going to like it.
And the sooner you can accept this + embody this + embrace this, the sooner you can move past the clawing fear of being criticized.
Let people have their own opinions and preferences. It’s not worth an ounce of your amazing energy to convince them or argue with them or try to prove yourself. None of those strategies will ever work.
What works is:
*Make art that you love. Make art that looks + sounds + FEELS the way you want it to. Make art that matches your insides.
*Share it with the world.
*Make more art. Tweak and learn and expand as you go. Make new art that reflects your new insides. Go deeper.
* * *
Think about it from a consumer perspective: Do you personally love every single book you have ever read?
Of course you don’t. Of course you have favorite books, and of course you gave up on some books partway through. You once tried to read the book that was the big hot craze of the moment, and you wrinkled your nose in disgust. You looked at everyone giddily lined up to see the movie, and you thought “Seriously? THIS is what everyone loves?”
Same with music. Same with jewelry. Same with the art that hangs on your walls. Same with anything. You have your own unique fingerprint of preferences — and your audience does too.
You don’t need to predict their preferences or squeeze yourself to fit into them. You just need to make and share your work, and then let your audience find you along the way.
* * *
When I self-published my creative writing self help book, I received some negative reviews. Some people just didn’t like it — and that’s okay.
Some negative reviews were from people who said the following:
*They don’t like self-published books
*They don’t like self-help books
*They aren’t interested in creative writing
So obviously they didn’t like my book — and why should they? It’s so far removed from their preferences that I’m surprised our paths ever crossed. I hope they devour hundreds of books that are better-suited for them. I hope they find the books that click.
If I had written my book with them in mind… the whole book would have been so defensive, so focused on looking over my shoulder and fending off criticism, that it would never have had the chance to be truly impactful.
Instead, I wrote the book that I had to write. The only book I could have possibly written in that specific snapshot of my life. And when the intended audience found it… they thought it was magic. Because they knew it was for them.
* * *
Show up boldly, and let your audience find you. You didn’t start making art in order to please everyone. You didn’t approach the blank canvas for first time with the desire to convert the unconvertible.
You came to shine. You came to show up and express and learn what you’re made of. You came because you were called — because a pesky creative whisper wouldn’t let go of your hair. You finally agreed to follow that whisper’s trail.
You came for reasons that are hard to explain, but easy to know in your bones. Stick to those reasons. They will enchant you along the way.
Peace + Creative Power,