I have a semi-secret obsession with Austin Kleon. After all, he shares the same name as my husband and you can’t go wrong with that. He’s an artist I admire and respect. I’ve written about him before; he’s impacted my life that much. The most we’ve ever interacted was him responding gratefully after I sent him an email thanking him for changing my life.
He’s been blogging every day for the month of October. While most artists do Inktober, he figured that since he already draws every day, he’ll blog every day since writing isn’t his favorite thing. He talks about it in his awesome weekly newsletter, and I’ve been thinking it might be a good idea for me to blog every day too.
The best part is how short his blog posts are. We both have short attention spans and I can always get behind a person like that.
What I appreciate most about Austin Kleon is his openness about how much he struggles with writing and creating. I didn’t realize that many artists and other people in creative professions experience this ALL. THE. TIME. I had NO idea!
Back in the day, I followed artists online who clearly ate, drank, and slept art. I thought I had to love art as much as they did.
In fact, I have a REAL beef with people who try to dissuade people from creative careers if that person doesn’t love it enough. And I see this coming from people who are in the field, whether they’re artists, writers, or whatever creative they might be – I think they discover just how hard and awful it is trying to do all that and they tell people what they told themselves. These people LOVE what they do and they love it so much and there is nothing else in the world that they’d rather do. And this comes from professional published writers!
But speaking from personal experience I can tell you that I have beat myself up for not apparently “loving” something enough, and as a result, have been largely unwilling to put in the work because if I find the work hard or unpleasant, than you can bet your ass I will think that I don’t “love” it enough. And then I’ll be sad that I don’t love it enough. Instead of realizing that just about every field in the world, from engineering to writing to scuba diving to being an ASL translator has elements that are not enjoyable and that suck and that even if you don’t like those elements that doesn’t mean that you do not hold the purest form of love for this craft and that you are unworthy of participating in it.
It just means you’re human, and like all successful human beings, you find ways to work through it, even if it means muscling through the muck.
Which is why I’m going to try blogging every day, even if it’s no more than a sentence or two, complete with either stock photos or meh photos of my own. Because I’m muscling through the muck, no matter how difficult.