Thursday, October 20, 2011

I suck at inspiring

I always feel the need to tell budding artists, budding writers, to keep trying. To keep working, as if someday, what they do will be worth it. Will be worth the efforts they’re taking currently. As if the goal is the outcome. As if the practice is unimportant, except in reaching that final phase.

As if the goal weren’t the creation of something unique and beautiful that, although flawed, contains a piece of the artist’s creativity and passion and skills. As if the practice itself weren’t the goal. I guess this is why I hate it when people throw things away. I value everything, even the sketches I’ve hated so much that I drew thick, dark X’s on top.

So when I’m telling people to keep going, to keep drawing, when I’m trying to plant some deep-seeded desire to get to the end of their artistic journey, what I’d rather be saying is, “This, right here, is beautiful. What you’ve done is beautiful. Sure, the eyes are a little off, and that mouth could use some work, but really, I love it just the way it is.”

The few times I’ve tried this, however, the people began spewing self-depreciating remarks, and I end up with a handful of people who, for that moment, carry no desire to continue.

So I don’t say that anymore.

I say, “This is already really good, and practice makes perfect. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.”

Which certainly isn't bad, but it's far from the message I'd rather deliver.


  1. The irony of this post is that you are being very self-deprecating toward your ability to inspire others. Which makes me want to inspire you to keep inspiring.


    But really...being inspirational, or doing things that you hope will lead an example for others too afraid to do the same, is difficult. It's not something I really tried to do until recently. Maybe right before the summertime? I've come to realize that inspiring people for the sake of inspiring isn't all that fruitful; I try to inspire people who are like me, and who I know I need by my side so that I too can keep working toward goals I'm trying to inspire THEM to take steps toward.

    Does that make sense?

    It's why I'm always trying to push you about Niche. I want you to succeed and believe you can succeed because your belief makes it easier for me to accept that maybe, despite my own limitations, I too will be able to succeed.

    And we may not succeed, but that's not really the point. The point is we tried, and failed, and learned.

    These days, when I can't inspire someone, then the least I can do is be supportive and encouraging of the things they do feel empowered doing.

    I hope you will find it in yourself to want to 'inspire' me too someday. You already have, in different ways. Not telling you how, though. I'll just let it simmer there in your brain for a while. ;)

    But remember: sometimes the easiest way to inspire is not by saying inspirational things, but by simply being, existing, as an inspiration.

  2. "I want you to succeed and believe you can succeed because your belief makes it easier for me to accept that maybe, despite my own limitations, I too will be able to succeed."

    This is something new to me. I've always been one to want to inspire people simply because I feel people -should- be inspired. I can't imagine going a single day without feeling empowered and ready to take on some small piece of the world, and I want others to feel like that, too.

    But the idea that by someone else succeeding, I'll be able to gain something, as well... This is very new to me, and I feel really greedy about it~ >3 So thank you, and sorry XD