There comes a point in any artist’s career when things start to get stale. The work begins to seem repetitive, and you’re starting to know every choice you’ll make before you even decide. This is when most people quit. It’s also when the successful artists keep going.
When you first start creating art, the passion and excitement can be overwhelming. There’s this sense of freedom – that you can create anything within your art form. Let’s call this ‘the honeymoon phase.’ It feels like it’ll carry you on forever. But it won’t. Eventually, the honeymoon will be over and married life will start, with all of its ups and downs.
If you want to make it through the honeymoon into a long, happy marriage with your work, one huge decision will have to happen: you can NEVER give up. Creating all the time is hard. Doing your work is going to become a lot less sexy than going out with your friends, watching a movie, or doing literally anything else. You’ll get tired and all you’ll want to do is stop creating.
When these moments come, take a pause and think about this: What success story ever started with, ‘I got tired and gave up?’ If everyone could keep up the level of hard work that’s necessary, EVERYONE would be incredibly successful. The truth is that most people will get tired, they’ll want to start doing easier, sexier things. But successful people never lose sight of their goal.
So artists, if you want to make your career last your whole life, you’re going to have to develop a long-lasting relationship with your work. After the honeymoon, reality is going to set in. But you can’t walk out at the first sign of conflict. When those struggles come, you have to commit to fighting for your relationship – even if you’re dead tired and fighting for it until 3 am.
Reality is always more difficult than the honeymoon, but that doesn’t mean the passion is gone. Keep digging to find that passion for your work, even when times get hard. Passion is the answer to the successful marriage. Since when does ‘passion’ mean peaceful bliss? It means a balance between fighting and loving. Fight for your work. Love the grind. Don’t give up.