Create for you.
There's a very real pressure these days to create for an audience, to pander to algorithms, and to hack your way to notoriety. But it misses the point and it forces us to behave in ways that, if we're honest, make us cringe.
Creativity is a delicate thing. Each time you set out to make something, you feel like that awkward teenager on the dance floor – trying to look comfortable in their own skin but desperately seeking approval all the same.
Ironically, it's the one who doesn't give a crap what the others think; who gyrates and flails in time with the music (or out of time with it), who draws admiration. They're clearly having a ball, and the opinions of onlookers don't even register.
One of my earliest mentors said the best way to find the ideal partner was to stop looking. Just do your thing, and let them find you. This is true of many things.
As you age, and as you try and ‘fail' at many things (remembering everything is an experiment, and the outcomes are lessons), you realise that no one's handing out gold stars in retirement homes. That's because, despite what social media tries to tell you, there's no correct answer at the end of it all. This isn't one long test.
So you'd better enjoy your time here. Make your art – do whatever lights you up – and don't be too attached to outcomes. The late, great Alan Watts said it best:
“We thought of life by analogy with a journey, a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at the end, and the thing was to get to that end, success or whatever it is, maybe heaven after you’re dead. But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.”
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