You will only get empathy from other artists when you talk about being worried what critics will think of your work. Those who take their art seriously can often be incredibly sensitive about how others they respect will view it.
But while an old professor or a successful friend or some genius we idolize is who we so often get trapped into thinking about when polishing our work, maybe it’s time to look in the opposite direction and think what your art means for those who look up to you.
As much as we feel like we’re just starting out and haven’t yet done anything too impressive, if you’re following through at all, you have to realize how much more you’re doing than so many others. Even just taking one step towards something, whether it’s music, photography, writing or any kind of art, requires a lot of guts and some specialized know-how. And there are many, many people out there who are baffled how you find the time and the focus and, most of all, the confidence.
Don’t look at your projects as baby steps towards something legendary, but instead see them for what they are — doing what you want to do and actually trying to make it happen. You may often hear from people that they are honestly impressed you can do these things, but you don’t hear them loudly enough. That doesn’t mean it’s time to get a big head and start strutting down the street like you’re the next Picasso or Hemingway, but even if it’s just a hobby, this world is filled with people who are too intimidated to even pick up a paint brush or start writing out that story in their head.
Just by putting in the work and time, you have inspired others around you and have made them think that just maybe they’re also capable of finding something they love pursuing it. Maybe your art won’t touch a million people, but making that art has already touched more than you know.