The Hell of Being an Artist

When you’re creative, you create. That’s what you’re born to do. You write. You draw. You make music, tell stories, organize words in a way that is meant to move, educate, or entertain. This is how creators speak to the rest of society, because explaining your feelings sometimes doesn’t make sense. You want your projects to somehow change the world, but most times, it won’t.

You might write a song that means the world to you, but means nothing to everyone else. Why would anyone want to hear your crappy, amateur song when there’s a whole world of real music on YouTube or Spotify you can listen to? You might draw a picture that signifies the constant war you have inside of you, but it isn’t as good as that painting hanging up at the museum, or be as detailed as that Oatmeal guy, so why bother?

You make a funny video on YouTube, only for no one to watch it except that old friend of yours who just wants to see you stop making videos because they’re scared of a little creative competition. They don’t understand that they’re secretly destroying the only thing that keeps you from jumping off the roof.

And when you’ve spent all your energy creating for no one else to understand it, you’re tired. You’ve felt like the work was for nothing. No response. No support. No reason to keep being creative. And the worst part is, we can’t stop.

“Just let the pros do it. Let *them* be the creative ones.”

No. No, it doesn’t work that way. You don’t tell a wounded bird to stop flying because other birds fly better. You don’t tell a sick person that they’re useless now. You keep up their strength by inspiring them. When you’re creative, there is no amount that will satisfy us. But its all we have. And when we get so tired that we can’t write or draw anymore, there’s nothing left for us.

Don’t tell me you love me if you can’t embrace my creative outlets. Don’t tell me you think the world of me if you can’t inspire me. Don’t tell me that growing up and being an adult is an alternate to being creative.

It doesn’t work that way. It can’t work that way.

Being an artist is hell.

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