For the last two days, I have been thinking about the New Year and working on my business plan for 2020. As a solopreneur and creative, I am always caught in that space between “Art and Commerce.” How to reconcile those ideas in a way that allows me time and freedom to create new work but also the good sense to make sure I make a great living. If you’re a creative yourself, I’m confident you know what I’m talking about. For me, it’s always been a question of balance. If you know me personally, I’m sure that you would concur that my balance is weighted more heavily on the side of commerce. My type A, get it done, make the sale nature is not only dominant but also pretty loud and obnoxious. It wasn’t always that way. It’s was time to rebalance. The question still loomed. Was releasing the reins a bit and focusing predominantly on my craft the wisest decision?
It’s interesting how answers will appear if you just pay attention. This morning I received my weekly email from James Clear. He tells the story of Martha Graham and the dangers of comparing yourself to others. In a conversation between Graham and Agnes de Mille Graham remarks,
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”
The message to me is clear. Focus on creating authentic, genuine work. Focus on the process but make sure to let everyone know.