Being an aspiring author is not easy.
I was scrolling my Instagram feed the other day and my attention was captured by a post of a writer I follow. She was communicating her decision to give up on writing because life was bringing her down and she didn’t have the strength to carry on with it. I felt sorry for her, especially because she wanted to get rid of all the work she had done so far, so I commented sharing my thought, hoping that would help her not to make the wrong decision. Right after me, other people commented, and I ended up interacting with them.
There was this guy, Olivier, an artist who does beautiful portraits of writers, who said he was suffering the fact that the people he knows make him feel like he’s never going to make it. Under the same post, another girl, Ariel, talked about her issues with mental health and how this affected her work in the past. She explained that putting too much pressure on herself killed her creativity.
I realised, but to be honest I knew it already, that writing (and making art, in general) is a struggle not just for me, but also for a lot of other writers out there. We love what we do, but at the same time we hate how the process can make us feel. Many are the reasons behind this issue, and the ones I mentioned above are just a small part of it.
Personally, I feel like I am not good enough and, just like Olivier, I feel judged and not supported by the people I know. As I said to him, though, if writing or making art is what we feel we should be doing, we should trust our instinct and stop caring about what others say. I reckon that the majority of people feel satisfied by finding a normal job to pay the bills, but people like us want to give a meaningful contribution to the world and it’s hard, especially for the people we know, to see us trying to do so while they are not. By saying this I don’t mean that our approach is right and theirs is wrong. I simply mean that they don’t understand our urgency because they don’t feel the same way. We just see the world through a different lens and it’s somehow normal, given how different our perspectives are, that they fail in supporting us. I am sure they don’t do it on purpose. It truly is just the way they see things and probably they don’t even think that their lack of support is hurting us.
All of this got me thinking. I believe we are seeking for help in the wrong place and we are putting our expectations in the wrong people. I love my friends dearly and I am sure they love me, however, sharing thoughts and worries about my work with them doesn’t make me feel understood. They are not artists, they don’t really know what to say, so I end up keeping my problems for myself. The result? Those thoughts in my head grow enormously and I end up feeling stupid, under competent and eventually a fraud. In contrast, talking to those random people on Instagram the other day, gave me hope. It was like I was in the right place and I didn’t feel judged at all because I was interacting with people who were facing the same problems. That’s when I started thinking that it would be amazing to have a safe space where we, aspiring authors and artists, could come together and share our fears, issues and possible remedies. It’d be lovely if we could organise meetings, perhaps through Zoom, to talk about our works and support each other along the process. It could really give us the strength not to give up.
You know what? I am starting to seriously think I should give this idea a go. Do you think it could work? Any of the aspiring authors/artists out there would be interested in attending this type of meetings?
Let me know your thoughts in the comment session below. It’d be really nice to hear your opinion.