I recently read Jeff Goins’ newest book Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age and recommend you do the same. He wrote twelve chapters on the differences between the “Starving Artist” and the “Thriving Artist”. He included many real-life stories to show how to thrive. Here are three quick and uplifting points to encourage you as a creative.
The Thriving Artist steals from his influences, rather than attempting to be original.
The Thriving Artist cultivates patrons, rather than waiting for people to find him or her.
The Thriving Artist always works for something, rather than working for free.
Jeff’s book woke me up to the possibility of making a living creatively, helped me understand how things are changing for creative people online and otherwise and how to be healthy and thrive in today’s world. Get a copy and read it. You’ll be glad you did.
You know the days when you plan out your schedule in your head, with appointments and errands all neatly arranged and completed at the right time? No traffic jams, no appointments in which you are shown to the room and then wait, wait and wait some more? Just everything going like clockwork and you arrive back home with plenty of energy to put away groceries, make dinner and clean it up and attend to your creative work. Yeah, wouldn’t we all like several of those days each week?
As much as I dreamed of that kind of day, instead, the other kind was doled out to me. My daughter needed me to drive her to the orthodontist and we waited and waited. She forgot to bring her lunch to school today and was hungry, so we stopped at Ithaca Bakery and I bought her a mid-afternoon meal. We sat together and chatted. Then the bank transaction took longer than expected as did traffic. And then there was Wegmans. Wegmans at 5pm is never a good idea, but this was when I was in town, so I had to get groceries. Driving home was slow and long. By the time we reached home, Ella and I were both done in. Thankfully, Alan came out and helped us carry in all the bags. After we put away the contents of said bags and prepared, ate and cleaned up dinner, it was 8:30. We still needed to put in an hour and a half of practice for Sunday’s gig.
Things continued to be a struggle. Alan couldn’t (and still cannot) find his music stand. So after a fruitless search of house and car, we decided we could practice without it. He will have to look in his car again in the morning and if it’s not there, then call Ithaca Bakery on Meadow Street to see if we left it there last month when we played. So we sang two songs thinking everything was golden. And then his capo broke. His capo that he’s had for thirteen years. Well, that limited us to practicing three songs and means tomorrow morning he is heading to Ithaca to purchase a new capo and possibly a new stand if he can’t find his old one. We will get our songs practiced because we must.
The redemptive thread in this story is that Alan is able to spend time outside tonight with the moon–one of his favorite monthly activities when the moon is full and the sky clear. And I can write and read, which I’ve wanted to do all day. Those days can hold a sliver of happiness if we stay positive and look for the good.
I’d love to hear how you get through “those days” when plans are interrupted or things don’t turn out as expected. Do you make time for creativity and relaxation in the middle of chaos?