This post is especially for my creatives. I’m sure you guys can relate to my problem.
I recently revisited my journal, which I haven’t opened or wrote in for over a year. Here’s part of the last entry I wrote:
“Burnout is a rare, but common form of artistic expression. Never mind. It’s not rare. It’s hard. When you feel uninspired, tired or when you’re just over it–what do you do? Are you still an artist?
Are you still a “creative”?
Am I really as creative as I believe? We’ll see.”
It’s funny. I wrote this because I believed it was appropriate at the time. A year later, it still applies, but in a different way. I really haven’t been giving my site that much attention because there’s a certain direction I want to go in, but it’ll have my full attention again in due time.
I recently registered for Spring 2017 classes and I realized my time in college is running out. I only have (after Spring 2017) two more semesters until I graduate! Again, I’m only 19. It’s such a wild concept that I’m still trying to grasp. With graduation looming in the background, I still sometimes struggle to accept the major I picked. I truly love my major and minor. It perfectly aligns with my calling and I enjoy a majority of my classes.
Contrary to popular belief, being a liberal arts major isn’t easy. Being a journalism major isn’t easy. Being any type of creative major isn’t easy. It’s not “just writing”. Things that come naturally aren’t always easy. You have to have a strong background in grammar, editing, and syntax. As journalism changes, I have to adapt. My major doesn’t just teach me how to be a writer; I’m also gaining knowledge in audio and video as well.
Graduating scares me as a journalist, and especially as a fashion journalist. The market I plan to pursue is one of the most competitive. But here’s something that I’m trying to learn:
Everybody’s journey isn’t your journey.
Yes, even the person that you look up to. They may have completed six internships while in college, but you’ve only done two. That doesn’t make your journey less important. You can still be successful.
But it’s all up to you.
I try to tell myself that I’m doing enough. I’m only 19. I don’t allow others psychological projections to bother me. A woman at my school’s career fair told me that my dream of becoming a fashion journalist was too narrow. It bothered me that another Black woman tried to tell me that I should try and expand my dreams–I’m assuming it was based off of her own failures and insecurities. Her comment was not based off of genuine concern, but maliciousness.
Don’t feel discouraged when you see people doing similar things doing “better” than you. Take the plunge. Apply for that internship. Submit your work to a competition. Post your newest painting to twitter. The worst thing anybody can tell you is no. If they say no, dust yourself off and try again! It’ll be okay. You’ll find the place that’s the perfect fit for you.
To all my creatives: we will make it. The world needs us.