I made this photo years ago, 2008 I think. I was still working with a point and shoot, at 4 megapixels. It's an image that has always stayed with me, popping up in my mind when I needed to remember to keep going, on pure faith if necessary. Lately, it's been my full on montra.
I've been putting myself out there... or rather my work, which really is so much a part of me that it might as well be me (but I try not to get that attached). I've been scouring Craigslist for local opportunities to show my work, at cafes and whatnot, and for freelance creative gigs. I've talked with a few people and gotten some positive feedback but no concrete plans as of yet. I've also been promoting my Etsy store much more. I've been taking Photo classes here and there to supplement my self taught, swiss cheese, base of knowledge. I've been advertising myself as a photographer (instead of a thingist..) while feeling fairly valid in doing so. I've been pushing myself and it's not easy.
In fact, there are days when my self confidence, my self worth, begin to falter, and I take my lack of success as a direct and irrefutable indicator of the value of what I do. Then, I shake that off and tell myself, "don't give in to doubt!!" I tuck my head metaphorically and charge down the field toward that end zone of achievement. I may never leave the field, I know, but it feels so much better to run than I ever thought it would. It feels good to keep going, to break those attempts at tackles which slow me down, and to keep pushing for a few more inches, a few more yards. I may fail 100% of the time, but by the time the play clock runs down, I will know I tried, played a good game, and didn't just stand on the sideline wondering what I might have done.
It's all a big cliché, I realize. But I think that's only because its so common for so many of us sensitive, intuitive, creative people to shy away from ringing our own bells. We aren't gregarious like many successful people are. We do what we do, quietly, because it's imperative to our being that we do it. And then we doubt that others will see what our soul sought to depict, and we keep it to ourselves, to varying degrees. But, what I have learned is that if we don't give others the opportunity to see our work they can't even begin to respond to it. They can't love (or hate) it if they never know it. The fear is that they will shrug and walk away.
What I'm learning now is that risking the brutality of that experience is worth not having to wonder what if...