Did you ever get to the stage in your life that you need to ask yourself some straight forward questions…and hope you can be honest with yourself to give straight answers too?
I often wonder about the unknown writers, musicians and artists of this world…and at what stage do they think they will never be discovered and their art form just isn’t resonating with anything or anyone.
I have found myself in that situation on more than a single occasion, whether with photographic projects, writing or even making videos for YouTube etc. To remain undiscovered and to not get any kind of positive reinforcement or recognition for your work can be demoralising and energy sapping to the point that you may have the tendency to want to give it all up and go do something regular with your life.
You can put yourself under pressure to succeed or at the very least not fail and it would be easy to compare yourself to those who you deem have made it or whom are more successful than you, but each and everyone of those has probably gone through a similar sentiment and are never from away from disaster themselves.
You start off with the best of intentions and you keep going…producing work over and over again. You believe in it and have put so much effort into it too that it is dumbfounding when it is not received well. You can dissect the reasons why, you can try to improve with each new piece. You can take workshops to improve your overall delivery but the result is the same…so at what point do you throw in the towel?
These are the kinds of questions I ask myself on a daily basis whenever I’m writing, taking photos, making videos or recording podcasts. I ask myself is it really worth it? Will it ever take off and will I ever be able to build an audience…ultimately I ask myself what am I doing wrong?
The only conclusion I can fathom is that there will always be people out there who will try to persuade you to do something else. There will always be those negative people out there who will play with your emotions or find entertainment to see you fail. You can take all of the advice and follow the right paths, but the path you tread is your own and yours alone.
You might be the worst YouTuber, writer or artist on the planet…but you need to ask yourself what are you hoping to achieve and is what you are doing, going to get you there. Can you take the skills and talents you have, then apply them to something else that may be a better option to achieve that goal…whatever that might be?
It is very hard to objectively say to anyone that it’s time to quit..because just around the corner could be the breakthrough you’ve been hoping for. It may be imminent or it could be off into the future but to give up without continuing to achieve the goal would be failing of the grandest proportions.
I have had a few projects over the years that just haven’t taken off and have not been as successful as I would have wished, however, each time I have ‘quit’ on the project…I have also continued on my path to reach my goal in life…and goal that also morphs as I get older too.
Whatever I have learned in the past, I take with me to each new project and into future ones too. However, fundamentally whatever you are doing, you need to want to do it and have a passion for it…whatever it might be. Success might be measured in numerous ways ad not just in how swollen your bank account is or how many subscribers or followers you can get either.
Success can be how your life is enriched by whatever your passions are and whatever sense of achievement you gain from simply doing what you are doing. A hobby can be the most successful aspect of your life because is simply makes you happy to do it. You do it not for reward or for financial gain but merely for the love of the act itself.
Whilst the practicalities of life would determine that we all need some form of income to pay our way, as along as what we are doing still gives us the same level of contentment, then financial rewards and legions of fans is largely irrelevant…although that would be most welcome too.
Nobody can tell when it is right to continue or to quit whatever you are doing…but as long as you still enjoy whatever it is you are doing then the only question you ever really need to ask is…Why would I ever Quit?