I read something written by an author whom I greatly admire: ‘There is no guarantee of success in creative realms.'
I’ve decided this is not true.
So how have I come to this decision, you may (or may not) be asking?
By how it feels in my body when I read these words. They itch and scratch and grate against my joy and enthusiasm. They don’t feel right. They don’t feel good. And that’s how I know they’re not right or true. At least, not for me.
Perhaps they’re not right for you either, in which case, read on.
By the way, this doesn’t make me admire the author who said them any less. It’s just that I’ve come to realise that just because a best-selling, award-winning author writes something in a book that sells a gazillion copies, doesn’t necessarily make it true.
So, here’s what I think (which may or may not be true for you):
Your yearning for something is the guarantee that you will experience it.
As a creative, if you yearn for success in some form that’s a sign that life wants to experience this and you will, if you just let it. Of course, your definition of ‘success’ might be different to mine but all definitions are equally worthy of experience.
So while your yearning for something, no matter what it is, guarantees the experience, the how and when that experience arrives is out of your hands. That’s the part that most of us struggle and writhe against and which can hold our yearnings up. But that doesn’t mean it’s not coming.
Why else would we yearn for something if not for it to be expressed? What would be the point of life? Life is the expression of yearnings coming to pass. Including success in the creative realms.
If you yearn for success, then life guarantees this will be your experience.
If you yearn for wealth and abundance, then life guarantees this will be your experience.
If you yearn for the greatest and grandest love, then life guarantees this will be your experience.
If you yearn for fame and notoriety, then life guarantees this will be your experience.
If you yearn for fun and adventure, then life guarantees this will be your experience.
Life guarantees every yearning for every yearning is just Universal inspiration wanting to express itself, to know itself through you. That’s why you yearn for what you yearn for, as opposed to what Bob the Bikie from down the street yearns for. You are the vehicle through which life gets to experience itself.
Do we get to decide the details of how and when we get to experience our yearnings? Nope. That’s none of our business. That’s when the Universe gets to step in to do its thing and, in my experience, the Universe does its thing extremely well, when given the time and space to do so.
So butt the fuck out and get back to work.
Keep writing or painting or dancing or concocting or stirring or chopping or doing whatever it is you feel called to do. You can even get back to the work you don’t want to do, if that’s your bag.
I’ve met writers and artists and other creatives who are entirely committed to the creative process because that’s what brings them the most joy. That’s their success. But that’s not all writers and artists. There are plenty of creatives who love the creative process while yearning (often secretly) for their work to be enjoyed and celebrated and acknowledged by others. This is okay. This is so okay. This is just life wanting to experience the entire palette of outcomes.
To be honest, I don’t know too many creatives who wouldn’t be a little bit thrilled to have their creative endeavours relished, their praises sung and gold coins showered upon them. I don’t know too many creatives who would be devastated and broken to have their work to be revered and admired of who would hang their head in shame and horror if someone were to throw a big wad of cash at them in exchange for their creative efforts. Sounds kind of cool to me.
Sure, it’s probably better for our mental state if we don’t spend our days worrying about how and when our yearnings might show up but we only do this because everyone keeps saying that there’s no guarantee they will. People like best-selling, award-winning, brilliant authors who we just accept must know what they’re talking about because they're best-selling, award-winning authors.
Do I yearn for creative success?
Of course! Absolutely! Yes!
Do I get a say in when and how and in what form that creative success will come?
I mean, what’s the option? Creative failure?
I can assure you I’m not sitting here hoping, wishing and praying that you, dear kind soul who is reading this blog post, are thinking this is the biggest piece of shit you’ve ever read and that my writing is the worst kind of drivel you’ve ever come across. Sure, you might be of this opinion, but I’m certainly not yearning for that to be the case. Plus I know all about failure, and not just the creative kind, and it kinda sucks.
It’s okay to yearn for creative success. It’s even more okay to be creatively successful. And if you yearn for creative success, then you better be okay with it because it’s guaranteed to be your experience. Although if you find when your success shows up that the experience isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, you’re free to yearn for something else. It’s called your life. You get to change your mind at any time.
People say, ‘There are not guarantees in life and there are especially no guarantees in a creative life.’
Well, I don’t. I prefer to say, ‘Fuck that!’
If you’re a creative, then chances are you’re going to yearn for success in some form or another. That yearning, my friend, is life wanting to express and experience itself through you and that it’s guaranteed to do so because that’s what life does. That’s what life is. One experience after another. You don’t need to know how the Universe works, you just need to keep doing your work. Keep writing. Keep making our art. Keep feeling into your yearnings. They are your soul talking to you.
And, if you’re still not convinced then try this on for size:
The Universe is inherently creative and it’s very successful in this endeavour. It’s only knows how to create and every creation is a success. The entire Universe is an expression of creative success and you are literally walking, talking proof of this. You are creative success in form. How then could it be possible for you to experience anything other than what you already are? .
Your success is guaranteed because it’s who you are.
My success is guaranteed because it’s who I am.
That’s what feels true. That’s what feels good. That’s what feels right.
For me, anyway.