These are some slighly unrelated thoughts that are somehow linked to these existing discussions here:
and originated from reading this article here: https://medium.com/@markprice_380/how-make-2018-not-suck-efdf811b77c1
We all want to achieve our goals and we all want to be better artists, people and that’s good. I think there’s some great advice out there that helps you with achieving more and being better, but all of them seem to ignore a couple of fundamental aspects of life, which sometimes are kind of the elephant in the room, and sometimes are just things we don’t want to see.
please note that I think the article linked above does have some very good points – albeit nothing really new – so I’ll mostly quote it for the sake of the discourse, not because I want to specifically bash the author or the text.
A very common point I read around is: you should live your dream instead of living a mediocre life that is just ok. Which is a good point and I wholeheartedly agree with that, but what is often ignored is that living your dream is very often a privilege not everybody can have. It also kind of ignores the fact that some people might actually love being a lawyer (though that is another topic I guess).
quoting the article:
I have friends who are lawyers, dentists, doctors, and other “worthy” professions. When I ask them, “Is doing this your dream job” they have all responded, “no”. After that is usually followed up with some lame response such as, “But life is good…”.
and further down in the text:
Be that person you were meant to be, or be like everyone else, living mediocre lives.
This is one way to see it. But what about all the people who have a shitty job because their lives are just a big mess and they have to survive day by day? It’s easy to talk about the lawyers, dentists and doctors…
So more often than not, this is just an advice for privileged people to privileged people, at least that’s how it feels to me.
The other thing that often is ignored: if you have a family and kids, if you want to reach your goals, it might mean that your partner will have to renounce to theirs and you’ll have to step over many “corpses” to get there.
Claire Dederer does make a very interesting reflection on the matter towards the end of this article about “Horrible people who are great artists”: https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2017/11/20/art-monstrous-men/
To sum it up she claims that more often than not you need to be a bit of a monster if you want to be a great artist, meaning that at the base of every artistic success story there is a lot of selfishness, which means leaving behind partners, children and social relationships.
I guess the big question that is left at the end of this is: can we reach our goals even if we’re not part of the privileged ones? Can we do what we want without hurting the people around us too much?
It’s some questions I ask myself a lot lately.