Before I go deep into the bullet points of The Manifesto I realized that I overlooked something basic.
You don't have to do things my way. You don't have to do anything.
If you have a roof over your head and food in your belly you are already doing a lot better than your ancestors.
We (I am included in this) obsess about not being enough.When we see what we think everyone else is doing in their lives it is only natural to believe that we are absolute shit if we aren't woke, vegan, crossfitters, game changers, outliers...Fill in whatever buzzword you want here.
But the problem is that this mentality makes growth a reaction. A competition. I have to join crossfit because this person that I admire does it. Or to make this person like me.Or to be cool.
And then we wonder why we quit nine out of ten times.
Here is the thing: If you are doing something because you "should", when something that is a necessity (Paying rent, car repair, etc.) is in conflict. we drop our new healthy habit.
And not only do we feel guilty, we resent it. In a world full of obligation, here is yet one more.
And we wonder while we are always tempted to say "Fuck it". It's honestly amazing that any of these habits ever stick.
But if we are choosing what we do it is entirely different.
Now I am not talking about reframing. "I GET to clean the litterbox!" or gratitude "I am so blessed that I have a healthy body with which to clean the litterbox.
I am talking about choosing what you want beforehand.
Even if you consciously chose to be an artist; a lot of views were probably forced on you: "Action movies are for sellouts" "Thomas Kinkade was a hack" "Theater acting isn't real work" "Film acting isn't real work" "I have to be a commercial artist to pay the bills" Whatever. It is almost certain that a lot of obligation thinking has snuck into your decision making.
Which means that even though you chose art, or growth, or a way you want to be in your life; It is entirely possible that you are doing something that you love and hating every minute of it.
so what is the solution?
Get rid of the idea that ARTISTS (or spiritual people, or writers, insert label here.) are a certain way. or have to do certain things.
And here is why: Choosing gives you ownership. Choosing lets you do hard things.
If you WANT to climb a Mount Kilimanjaro or go to the South Pole or write a novel, nothing is going to stop you. But if you feel forced; you will dig in your heels, self sabotage, and fight it the whole time. And even if somehow you get it done; you will hate it and be traumatized by it (I know this from experience).
Choose what you want. Choose the way you want to do it. Choose every thing about it. Because if you stop choosing, you lose some of yourself as an artist.
This is a lot to live up to.
But if you have a misstep, you can choose to start again.
Thanks for choosing to read this.