What it Takes to be an Artist

3 min readSep 20, 2021

Have you lost yourself in societal expectations?

Photo by Alex Perez on Unsplash

Our housekeeping is mendicant, our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion, we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us. -Ralph Waldo Emerson taken from his essay titled Self-Reliance

Have you lost yourself in societal expectations?

Trying to meet the expectations of everyone around us ultimately leads to depression and feelings of failure because it’s impossible to meet everyone’s expectations. Everyone is going to have an idea of what you’re “supposed” to be doing. But the only person on this earth who truly knows what you should be doing, is you.


Unsure of what you’re supposed to be doing? It reminds me of Picasso’s quote,

It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.

Lost? That’s the best place to start. It’s ok to not know what you’re doing yet. Give yourself full permission to figure that out. Whatever that looks like. And of course not everyone will understand. That’s part of it. Finding what you love is hand in hand with stepping away from everything that you’re not. Step toward the ones who take time to understand.

Invest fully into finding or doing what you love and don’t be swayed by what others think you should be doing. Because if they were doing what they loved, they wouldn’t have time to be swaying you to do anything other than what you love. They also wouldn’t because they know what it takes to live what you love, hard work and dark nights alone with nothing but the glitter of a dream.

I didn’t learn this from people who were born wealthy and I didn’t learn this from people who were born in poverty and never found their way out. I learned from people who had a dream and didn’t give up even in their darkest moments.

Will Smith
Steve Jobs
Steve Harvey

I’ve even read books about writers in their darkest moments like Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson who according to wikipedia “despite [his] ill health, during his three years in Westbourne, Stevenson wrote the bulk of his most popular work: Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (which established his wider reputation), The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses, A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods.”

Don’t let the crowd sway you from who you are and what you’re here for. They will try their damndest to get you to conform just like them. Don’t let them.

Photo by Slava on Unsplash

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Last post I gave Six Tips on How to Start Writing


A writer and sensitive realist who takes risks with the intention of progress