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What Separates the Professionals from the Wannabes

Maybe you have a friend who’s a successful artist or writer. She’s published books, gotten a teaching post at a college, won awards here and there. She’s not a huge star or household name, but her career has grown steadily over time. She’s a working artist–a real professional.

What separates her from the people who haven’t made it? 

Some would say it’s talent. 

But, the truth is, there are a lot of talented people in the world. 

Almost every school has its “star” writers, artists, and musicians, but most of those people end up in other careers. Others discover their talent later and are brilliant hobbyists. 

(And so many people die with their creative potential unrealized.)

On the flip side, most professional artists have some degree of talent, and you can’t be completely talentless, but there’s a wide range in what people respond to–and plenty of so-so artists succeed.

Just look at the bookstores filled with derivative novels, movie theaters filled with predictable sequels, and radio stations playing songs that all sound the same. 

Professional success doesn’t require extraordinary talent.

So what really separates the artists from the wannabes? 

Two things: Confidence and perseverance.

Doing your art–and continuing to do it through the ups and downs. 

Being willing to put yourself and your work out there. 

If you have trouble doing your creative work, it’s easy to start wondering if you have what it takes–or thinking there’s something wrong with you.

THE TRUTH:

You’re fine, and you can change the story you tell yourself NOW.

Do your creative work today, do it tomorrow, and then tell yourself, “I am writing regularly now.” (I say writing here, but this is true for any creative work that comes from the soul.)

And you commit to yourself to keep up the streak. You make that as important as anything.

You don’t have to do it perfectly. 

You just need to do it. 

And keep doing it.

Photo by Urupong

P.S. What if you have the drive and determination–but spend more time fighting your self-doubts than doing creative work?

There are actually a few simple steps that can take you “over the hump”–and into doing your art. 

(They work even if you have deep-seated blocks or have been avoiding and procrastinating for years.)

I teach them to my clients in the Artists in Action program–so they can stop fighting themselves… and become the artists they’re meant to be.

Interested? Email me.

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