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Is Your Artist Self for Special Occasions or Every Day?

Well, that was a heckuva week!

By my count, we raised over 70 hours for art from thirteen writers and artists who are now in the thick of creation. I can’t wait to check in with them later this week.

And I know some of you on the sidelines were thinking about pledging but didn’t (I heard from many of you in the back channels). Some were in a busy season and knew they couldn’t take on more. Some were spurred on by the energy but prefer to keep such pledges to themselves (I totally understand this impulse).

And some of you couldn’t bring yourself to say the words.

Not that you doubt your abilities. You know you’ve got talent and perseverance.

But there’s some threshold in your mind that you haven’t crossed yet, and until you do, you can’t give yourself permission to fully inhabit your artist self. Like a cherished outfit, she’s there for special occasions. But when something more pressing comes up, when daily life beckons, back into the closet she goes.

I was struck how even seasoned painters like Jolie Guillebeau and Rosemary Leach admitted that they didn’t stand completely  in their artistic identity until they were selling regularly.

And what Sara Zarr said, about protecting her identity as a writer in those early years before she got an agent, keeping her ambitions and efforts to herself, made a lot of sense. The fledgling artist can be vulnerable to criticism and judgment.

And yet . . . none of these artists would have gotten to the place of selling if they hadn’t believed in themselves enough to do the work to get there. Akila McConnell herself said that it required a tremendous amount of faith (in the face of tremendous self-doubt) to take the risks she’s taken to write her novel and leave her earth-bound life behind.

Where do you get that faith?

I believe it comes from a deep acknowledgment of who you are.

I’m in the midst of launching a six-week course that will lead writers and artists through a thorough investigation of their artist selves: everything from the quirks of psyche to the most captivating themes and values.

Know yourself to do your work.

If you’ve been holding yourself back, uncertain of your right to place art at the centre of your life, this is the next step.

If you’d like to hear about the course, put yourself on my advance notification list for Very Impatient Artists. I’ll be sharing the details this week.

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