Why don’t people talk about this?


Finding Firelight stamp on a magazine page – part of a mini journal.
Not really sure what’s going on with the picture. I just like how the stamp looks on the wall.

Something got brought to my attention this week.  Something no-one talks about.  And I think it’s about time someone did.  And apparently, that someone is gonna be me.

I’ve been told that I am  showing the ‘real’ side of starting a creative business.  Not just showing the ‘highlight reel’.  Not just showing the ‘good stuff’.  It’s such a beautiful compliment isn’t it?

It’s not something I planned or really thought about when I started.  I’m just sharing how my adventure is unfolding.  The good stuff.  The bad stuff.  The ‘I dunno what the hell I’m doing’ stuff.   I didn’t realize how big a deal it was until I had a think about it this week.

I’ve talked about all the overnight success crap before.  The ‘just do what I did’ rubbish.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how other bloggers are sharing their adventure.

And it pissed me off to be perfectly honest.

Why do so many blogs only talk about the image stuff.  Getting artwork licensed by a big name company.  Being published in a magazine.  Having a sell out market.  Look – all that is awesome, but what about the market where they didn’t sell a thing and went home in tears, their heart shattered for days afterwards?  Or the 8 rejection letters they got before they finally got a yes?

I’m fed up with hearing over and over in these dull as dish water interviews about becoming and expert in your field.  Making yourself seem bigger than you are.  To trick your audience into thinking you are successful.  What sort of crap is that?  Why do people do that?  Why do people WANT to do that?  It just doesn’t make sense to me.

Why do people only measure their success by sales and money and facebook likes and twitter followers and website statistics?

I get that it’s important.  I get that those things can matter.  It let’s you know if something you’re trying is actually working.  Or sending you backwards.  Or not making a lick of difference one way or the other.

But what about all the reallllly good stuff?

Why doesn’t anyone talk about that?

About putting ourselves first instead of last for a change.

About finding strength and courage we didn’t know we had to go after that big wild crazy dream we’ve had inside us for years.  That we’ve pushed aside for the daily grind for way too long.  That we’ve put off because not trying hurt less than trying and failing.

What about the community you discover along the way?  Beautiful souls who are willing to share what they know to help you on your adventure?  What about sharing what you have learned with the gorgeous girls just starting?

What about the sense of achievement and fulfillment you get from taking even the smallest of steps?  One of my favourite thoughts about this whole creative business thing is that I want it to make me feel full to overflowing.

Why doesn’t anyone talk about that stuff?  Isn’t that the really, really good stuff?  The stuff that makes it special?  That takes it beyond just trading your sucky day job for a less sucky day job?

Isn’t that the stuff that really matters?

Other bloggers treat this like it doesn’t count.  Or it’s a big secret they don’t want to let you in on.  Maybe they just aren’t seeing that part of it.  Maybe they are missing the good stuff in the mad race to the finish line.

But I want you to know I think it’s the most important part.

It’s what makes the adventure worthwhile.

It’s what makes you get up at 4am to take another step towards your big, wild, crazy dream.  It’s what means you’ll try again tomorrow when things have gone completely sideways.  It means you’ll find the courage to start.

Isn’t that the real reason we are all doing this?

Coral.  xo

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10 Responses to Why don’t people talk about this?

  1. love your work Coral………..you’ve hit it on the head again!! I give you thanks for being open about the struggles, and REAL about the issues you face. It’s a long long road to the top, and it’s filled with potholes & CRAP at times…….but yes, that goal at the end is the sweetest stuff we could ever want!!
    So happy to be on the journey with you! xx

    • Coral says:

      I love it when you come to visit here, Vicki. Hehehe. The comment you left last week inspired this post. You always have the most beautiful encouraging words.

  2. Megan says:

    Yes, the future is great and something to look forward to and set goals for and all that good stuff.

    BUT it’s also important to take the time to enjoy the hear and now. To enjoy the journey. To fully feel the struggle so we can really appreciate the successes. Also, to give ourselves mini-rewards along the way, and be proud that we are on the journey, and not just pining for the finish line.

    Great post Coral!

    • Coral says:

      Oh Megan – I love the thought of “fully feeling the struggle”. I know when I get to the other side, the thought of pushing through will make the success feel so much sweeter. I know I will appreciate it so much more than if it all just came easily. And I’m a big fan of mini rewards too. Acknowledging the little victories as well as the major milestones.

  3. Rosalina says:

    Hi Coral, I am from the Amazing Biz and Life Academy. I have to say this is a great post. I think you are absolutely right. There are some bloggers out there that, although amazing people, seem to focus only on the sale and how many subscribers they have.
    I just started blogging and just created a website and there are many times that I feel discouraged. I look at others and their art sells, their blogs are abundant with followers and I feel like maybe I just don’t have what it takes. But then I realize I must continue because a life without creativity and passion is really depressing.

    • Coral says:

      Hi Rosalina – thank you for visiting via Amazing Biz & Life Academy. Love Leonie’s site and the Forum.

      Remember you are at the starting line, at the beginning of your adventure. The blogs you are reading are probably of artists who have been doing the blogging and selling art thing for 5 or 10 years. It’s hard not to compare sometimes and you need something to aim for. But don’t let it make you feel bad or lose confidence.

      Every time I’m not sure if I can pull this big wild crazy dream off, I look at them as proof. Proof it can be done. Proof you can make a living from it. Proof you don’t have to rely on a day job you hate. Proof it can be even better than you imagined if you just keep moving forward.

      Keep going. Keep taking steps forward. Keep trying new things to see if they work for you. We will get to that place we can see so clearly.

  4. Dawn Petrill says:

    Amen sista! You’ve hit that nail right on it’s head! I subscribe to a few of the superstars you mentioned and while it is inspiring to hear of all their successes, all their new product lines and book launches, etc, etc.. It also can be quite discouraging.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud of my little business and all the little successes I’ve had. I even have a “Cool Stuff” jar that I’ve been filling by jotting down all my tiny milestones on little scraps as they happen. (A trick I learned from Cass Mullane during Jennifer Lee’s Right Brain Business Plan Summit)

    But sometimes seeing only the highlight reel makes me feel so puny and insignificant. It really is a relief to see posts like yours, Coral, and feel the comraderie of you and fellow artisans and entrepreneurs who are wading at the edge of this big, beautiful sea of possibilities that we are trying to navigate. Thanks so much! xo

    • Coral says:

      Watching the big names is a bit half half, isn’t it? Half is “if they can do it, I can too”. It’s proof that what you are dreaming of is possible. That it can be done. The other half can be discouraging like you say. Because the distance between where you are now and where you want to be can feel like a huge chasm. A big river to cross. And you wonder “can pull this off”.

      We are Sistas. We are all in this together. And taking on the adventure with other brave arty girls makes it seem a little less scary. And a little more possible.

  5. Ariel says:

    Such a lovely post, thank you. I’m a new voice, I found you from the Maven website. I just today wrote a post on how the word success puts distaste in my mouth at this point, because its about outcome, not about all the rest. The good the bad, the journey.

    • Coral says:

      Love the Maven’s – such gorgeous hearted girls. So glad to hear I’m not the only one who feels like this. Money and press seems to be how many people measure success or show their success. I wonder why people don’t talk about how fulfilled they feel, how in tune with what they were meant to do, the friends and mentors they have met along the way. That’s where the good stuff is. Can’t wait to read your post!

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