Love me, love me (for God’s sake will you just love me already?)

love me, love meLet’s be honest, to be a writer, an actor, singer or any type of ‘creative’ you have to have a pretty big ego. It’s not wrong, it just is. Perhaps it’s God’s way of helping us deal with all the rejection, finger-pointing and the fact that we were looked upon as the weird geek all through high school.

Most people aren’t going to understand us. They aren’t going to understand why certain sounds might send us into a state of impassioned annoyance. Or why we’re so interested in talking to strangers and fascinated by the conversation at the next table. Or why we have that “I’m taking notes” look on our faces half the time. But that’s okay. We’re not here to be understood. We’re here to create. We’re here to enrich other people’s lives (hopefully) with the things we create. Whether it’s a song, a performance, a painting or a story – ours is a mission of finding beauty and meaning in life and reporting back. Maybe we’re also the note takers for the current culture – the predictors of what the future may hold. Some think so…

But what we aren’t is the world’s darling. We aren’t here to be loved. To gain approval. Or to be the homecoming queen. The world isn’t interested in our neediness. And yes, we’ve got it – in spades. And if the world (or any part thereof) decides to love you, it will be on its own terms, not yours.

The very fact that we create something doesn’t mean that it’s great or even good. And when it’s not we should be humble enough to accept that when someone points it out. We should be grateful that there are people in our lives who will be honest with us, tell us the truth and insist we give only our best work. Because in our best work we give what we are meant to give – an undeniable truth, a pure note, a perfect color – whatever it is, you know it when you’ve got it. When you’ve reached it. When you’ve created it.

The world does need our work. It is important. We can only give that when we put on our big girl and big boy pants and dedicate ourselves to it. And keep the griping and hurt feelings to a minimum.

Though there is the occasional anomaly – trust me you won’t:

  • Pen the great American novel on a first draft
  • Paint like Picasso after one art class
  • Win an Academy Award for your first performance
  • Sing like Caruso (or Beyoncé) after completing Music 101

If you don’t put in the work, you’ll never develop your craft enough to get there. But if you do dedicate yourself to it – earnestly and without insisting on constant love and adoration for doing your job – the world may love you after all. Or at least your work.

Writer Chick

copyright 2014

Gratitude – Work

This week I want to show special gratitude for work. Over the course of my life I have had many jobs and I’ve learned something from all of them.

I’m grateful for…

My first job of raking leaves and cleaning my dad’s car. From which I learned that you could earn money if you did things for people that they didn’t want to do themselves.

My first business was babysitting for the neighbors. From which I learned you could earn money by just being in a place and making sure nothing happened. Often treats, drinks and movies were provided. I also learned to love kids and that they are really a kick.

Waitressing was my first “official’ job where taxes were withheld and I got an actual paycheck. From which I learned that speed and efficiency is king. That humor and friendliness go a long way in human interaction. That change counting machines were a gift from the Gods. And most importantly good shoes are really important.

And then there was, marketing, bookkeeping, managing, personal assisting, tech writing, copy-writing, fiction writing, blog writing, and so on.

For as much as we may complain about our jobs and going to work or having to work, I truly believe that without it we would be lesser beings. We would have lower morale and be generally unhappy. I believe it is human nature to want to work for or at something, that there is a specific joy one gets from making something with his or her own hands, mind, intelligence and/or creativity. While work usually brings you money, it also gives you independence, self esteem, self worth, and yes even a sense of peace.

Even the really terrible jobs I’ve had (and I think everyone has had a few) where everything went wrong, the boss or the coworkers hated me, the work was unsatisfying or difficult, the pay was terrible – even those jobs, that work I am grateful for because they all helped me to survive. To have the wherewithal to provide for myself and even pursue other interests. Not to mention some good writing fodder.

How about you? What work are you grateful for?

Copyright 2011