As you progress in any field, or really anything in life, you’ll find that you will get a contingent of negative voices toward whatever you do. They’ll come in a variety of forms from outright hostility, to some subtle passive aggressive remarks, even to quiet concern over the direction you’re heading. It can get overwhelming at times, and if you’re got a unique enough a vision, sometimes you’ll have the weight of an entire industry on you.
But at the same time, great artists have unique visions, ones that are in their own direction, and that’s what makes them great. Sometimes, great artists aren’t even recognized when they’re alive, though with the internet, it’s much easier to find your niche and connect with those who might be able to connect with your work than in ages past.
There’s a few simple things you can do to know if you’re on the right track, or a few observations you can make. At the end of the day, it’s hard to know conclusively if you made right moves in anything, and mileage may vary, but there’s guidelines.
First thing to do is pray to Jesus Christ. His will is far more important than mine, yours, or any of the people surrounding us. And remember, “A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.” It may be his will for you to bear some suffering. But don’t worry, light is up ahead and so is eternal salvation. If you pray and listen to God, you will always be on the right path.
Surround Yourself With Smart Friends Who Understand Your Vision
This is so crucial. It’s kinda like don’t be unequally yoked, another Biblical truth, in some ways. There will be people who get what you’re doing, and what you’re going for. Those types are invaluable because you can bounce ideas off of them before you start to move. If those people are maintaining you’re doing good work, the outside voices are more likely the ones in the wrong about what you’re doing. The opposite is also true — don’t surround yourself with the naysayers. The voices can be overwhelming and can drag you down so you don’t actually produce your vision, and that doesn’t help you accomplish what you’re setting out to do. You’ll be able to tell who’s who by their general way of being and if it’s aligned with yours. Is this person seeing what I’m going for? Is the advice they’re giving toward my goals? Haven they even attempted to ascertain what my goals are? Drive by negative comments vs. someone legitimately interested in helping and providing critical feedback are also easy to spot.
Set Yourself Tangible Goals And Deadlines – Are You True To Your Own Vision?
If you have very specific goals and things you want to accomplish, write them down. Make yourself a list of what you want to do today, what you want to accomplish this week, month, and also in the long term. Revisit these and make sure you stay on path. If you have your work clearly organized, odds are you’re going to do something good. It’s hard work, but everything in life that bears fruit is always hard work. There’s no easy path.
How’s Your Passion Level?
If you’re taking heat and you’re finding yourself still excited, still energized, there’s a good chance that you’re on the right path. The whole point of most of the naysayers is to get you down, slow you down, bring you back to earth, but if you’re still flying high, that’s the most important thing. Follow your passion. Sometimes you’ll get a little tired too, but recognize when that’s a temporary thing vs. a not wanting to do this anymore sort of situation.
Is Your Work Resonating?
We get instant feedback in today’s age. For every negative person out there that loudly spews hate, is there an equal and opposite reaction? If you have that going for you, then it just means your work has an audience of one sort of person and not of another. That’s okay. If you’re finding people are giving acclaims, buying your work, loving your work, not only does it make it easier to bear the negativity on the opposite end, but it likely means there’s a different motivation for the negativity than for your success.
All of these examples are not cut and dry metrics, and except for the last one, they all require action on your part to make sure you’re going in the right direction. Artistry is hard work, whether it’s in the form of writing fiction, making other content, reporting on important events, performance art, whatever it is, if you’re dedicated and have a clear vision, don’t worry about the naysayers. They’ll be there no matter how good your work is, they won’t always see what you see. It’s a part of life. Now go forth and create and be free from fear, because fear is what’s used to hold us back.
Zaira wasn’t sure if she was on the right track when she inherited an airship from her missing father. He was the adventurer. He was the leader. What was she but a simple farm girl? Could she really bear his mantle? Her lessons in persistence and passion, and how to stay determined to vision, are exactly what we’re talking about in the blog today. Read it here.