As an artist I have found myself being asked to provide my craft for free. To perform for exposure. Without thought to effort, time or cost. And in the past I have taken all those gigs; anything just to share my talent with an audience. Gaga says it best: ‘I live for the applause.’ Now, as an artist I know it’s difficult to quantify what my craft is worth. But I know for dang sure it’s not free. And I cannot live on the applause.
So, lately I’ve found myself expanding my vocabulary. And I’ve found comfort in one tiny word: NO. So small but so mighty. Oh yeah. It feels good. Like taking back the power position in my art. And making a choice to make art instead of flinging as much as possible at the wall; hoping for something to stick. If I choose what I do, when, for what and why, I can hold myself to a higher standard. I become a creator with passion instead of pressure. Cuz if all I’m doing creatively is taking on more so I can take on more, then all those important and paying gigs are devalued. And if I devalue my art, how could I expect anyone else to see it’s worth?
Since I’ve started using no, I’ve noticed the yeses increasing. Now, I know that the universe is about balance. So, turning something off, turns something else on. When you start rewarding yourself the universe congratulates you and gives you a, wait for it, reward. By saying no, you can decide who you want to be as an artist- and better focus on that. You can start creating better art for a better world. But seriously now, don’t get me wrong, I love freebies. I can’t say no to a promo gift bag;)
We live in a world where retail bags come bedecked with motivational suggestions. Where every odd status update is up lifting. Where the sunny side of the street is always ready to flip your frown upside down. Even my fav Papa-grump knows that things look their bleakest they can get worse…wait that’s not what I wanted to say. Second times a charm. Even my fav Papa-grump knows that a spoonful of sugar distracts from the worst medicine. So, when the whole universe and everyone in it, is in such support of taking that chance, what is it that’s stopping you?
I know that taking a chance has so many scary possibilities attached to it. Fear of the unknown would have prevented us from going into space and found us living on a flat earth. That’s no fun. Laziness you say? Well, let’s just ignore that excuse. Cuz I’m too lazy to try convincing you otherwise. Actually getting what you want, only to realize it’s not what you wanted after all. Okay, valid, but are you really going to prevent yourself from grabbing the brass ring because you’re not sure you’ll want it later? That’s stupid, may I suggest reevaluation? It’s a very easy tool, and can help you re-jig your priorities. Oh you say you’ve got other road blocks? Well, let me assure you, you are not alone. But a blocked road always has detour signs, it’s just harder to find them sometimes.
So, what I want you to know is that today could/should/can be the day you make the decision to take a chance. Just a little chance. Be brave, be bold. Take a deep breath. Incite a mutiny and take control of your destiny ship. The time is now. Or at least the time is soon. Take the chance you’ve been avoiding. I know it won’t be easy. But I bet it’ll be easier than you think. And I’ll be here for you, for every little chance you take.