I had breakfast with a British chap, a friend I’ve known since my formative years, which are still forming. He ordered the French toast. I ordered the eggs.
He asked me how my work was going. When I last saw him, a year ago, over French toast and eggs, I was on the verge of submitting proposals to publishers for an artist book. I had no choice but to be honest with him that I had not followed through on anything. Actually, I did submit 1 or 2 proposals, for books and gallery shows of the work, each of them rejected. And rejections have a way of annihilating my confidence and motivation.
This is something that happens to me all too frequently. I eventually rebound and start working on another project, but I rarely carry anything through to their full fruition, to their potential. Because making the work is far more satisfying than marketing it or self-promotion. I am have never been very good with the latter in any domain of life. I thrive upon approval from others, while being embarrassed to call attention to myself. Some people are just really good at it. And sometimes I admire them. And sometimes it just turns me off, and then I become judgmental, and then I get judgmental towards myself in being judgmental of others.
It’s been a real stumbling block.
My British friend said that he found it remarkable that I’ve never pushed my work out there as far as it could go, but also remarkable that nobody has “discovered” me by now. I was flattered and disconcerted.
But waiting to be discovered is a lot like waiting to be rescued out of whatever situations or circumstances you need to be rescued from. There’s a passivity, almost a helplessness, relying so much upon fate, fortune and approval from the outside. It doesn’t do anything to build an inner core of strength.
Somehow I have to find a way to do that. I need to work on my core strength.