It’s the one bit of advice I’m never afraid to give:
NO ONE CARES
No one cares about what you are doing or making. They aren’t going to care about your Etsy store or your Patreon page. They won’t care that you are leaving your Nine-To-Five to follow your dreams.
No One Cares.
I started this idea a while ago, tried to make a quick video to expand upon it , figured this blog was a better way to go.
I don’t (always) dish this out in a cantankerous tone. It’s not that the thing you’re doing isn’t worth caring about — it is. Thing is: most people are incapable of caring about the world beyond their front door. If it isn’t about getting to work on time, buying groceries, or binge-watching the latest series of whatever — they just don’t care.
I’ve seen plenty (hell, I’ve owned plenty) of pretty good ideas and projects end too early because they just could “get it to catch on.” Projects that didn’t rocket the creators to fame within a week were considered “failures.” The work was amazing, the creators ambitious, the audience apathetic.
Maybe they had the wrong audience?
If “No One Cares” doesn’t ring for you, maybe try the other side of the same argument. “Do the thing you love because you love to do it.” <- I know you’ve heard this one before.
Once, written on a bathroom stall (when bathroom stalls were still written upon, pre-smartphone days), I read:
“Art is like sex.
First, you do it for yourself
Then you do it for those you love
Then you get desperate and do it for money.”
If you set out to make something with the idea it will be award-winning, well-received, and remembered for all of history long after you die; you are doing it for all of the wrong reasons. You’ve failed before you even began. Stalled at the starting gate.
So as you’re writing that poem
Or watching the watercolors dry
Or sketching out your memoir
Or shooting that thing for YouTube
And you find yourself asking: Will they like it?
Rest assured — they likely won’t.
No One Cares
But you care, and that’s all that should matter. Make it for yourself, show how much you care about it, and others will come around.
It might be months, it might be years or long after you’re dead. But they’ll come. So you may as well get started today.
Originally published at https://www.dtpennington.com on October 16, 2019.