Somewhere in the middle of a very long conversations with my friends today, one of them said that their writing ‘sounds too pretentious’ to them. It was a reminder that even when we do things for fun and seemingly for ourselves. we might not really have a very high opinion about our capabilities. Although, it’s not always clear what the reason behind that is. Perhaps it stems from years and years of over-performing and then getting exhausted by the time we all reach a semblance of adulthood. Perhaps it is the impostor syndrome.
The point remains that we are all, at least to some degree, insecure about our abilities.
It’s at times like these that I think of what my best friends have, time and again, tried to tell me. They said, ‘It’s okay to feel as though something hasn’t turned out to be your best work yet; as long as you feel good doing something, you remain [insert whatever it is that you are]’. And that just made so much sense to me because no matter how good we are at doing something, we are bound to go through slumps because of exhaustion of some kind or the other. Besides, we’re always learning how to do better than yesterday, and I think that’s what matters the most.
Social media these days has made everyone believe that they absolutely have to reach for the stars with the effort the put in, and as much as I’d like to say that people who are passionate about what they do will give their 100% to their work, it’s not always possible. Self-indulgent work is a thing and I think not a lot of us have any time or energy left for doing things we like because we’re so caught up keeping up with what the trend-of-the-day is, and that just beats the point of doing something you love for the sake of loving it.
Unfortunately, passion doesn’t pay the bills, so I understand why it is important to give our work a 100%, but in doing so, we shouldn’t lose sight of who we are at our core. We are exhausting ourselves bad enough, as it is; we definitely do not need another reason to give up on doing what makes us feel like the best version of ourselves.
It doesn’t always have to be perfect. We’re just humans; sometimes, we’re not feeling up to putting in a lot of effort. But as long as we don’t give up on the things we love, I’m sure we’ll all find a way.
In the meantime, it is important to remember that this world, that runs on social media reach and engagement, does not determine the level of your talent. It does not determine whether you are truly capable or otherwise. The only thing it gives people is insecurity in buckets. Remember that just because your work hasn’t gone viral, doesn’t mean it lacks potential. Social media largely runs on timing and clique-culture, so it really isn’t your fault if your work didn’t get the attention it deserves.
I know it seems like terrible advice, to just keep doing what you love without letting the pressure of what people might think about it crush you. But, from personal experience, I can tell you that I have been so much more comfortable about putting my art out there ever since I stopped caring about how many people my art would reach over social media.
Just know that talent and hard work always finds a way to shine through.
Go a little easier on yourself. Xx