Sometimes I feel really doubtful and want to give up.
Most days I'm optimistic and excited to see how my dreams unfold, regardless of the timeline, but there are some moments, (like this morning) where it's really hard for me to remind myself to continue moving forward.
I'm constantly in the process of putting my heart and soul into my work, and although it's this practice that makes me feel the most alive and connected to something bigger than myself, I have times where I'm frustrated that I'm not seeing the results I want to just yet.
It feels like putting my best foot forward, every single day, while digging as deep as I possibly can to retrieve my most valued treasures, and not see any progress.
I ask myself though: What is progress? What is success?
If I believe that I only "made it" when a publisher picks up my book and millions of people are reading my work, then I'm placing the validity of my creativity into the hands of others. Why does my success have to equate to a large scale audience recognizing and receiving my work?
Of course, that's the dream, but is that the only thing my creative process is worth working for? Is that the outcome that will make me feel the most fulfilled?
Because truthfully, my creativity currently has no dollar amount attached to it. I'm not forced to create for a monthly income, and because of that, there's no pressure on my creativity to support me financially. I believe it's because of that freedom to write for the sake of writing and create for the sake of creating that sustains me. It's what makes me want to grab my laptop and begin writing from the moment I wake up in the morning.
How powerful is that? To be able to freely express yourself without needing to do so because it pays the bills and puts food on the table?
When my mind escapes into self-pity for not experiencing the recognition I desire, I remember this. I remember to align myself with the values that feel most truthful to me.
At the end of the day, I'm not going to bed at 9pm to wake up at 5am and write so that I become a famous author. I'm not cutting toxins and negative patterns out of my life so that my connection to creativity is clearer for others. And I'm not spending 90% of my time creating so that I become rich.
Yes, part of my dream encompasses those things, but truthfully? I do this because it's the one thing in my life that makes me feel the most at home. It's the ritual I've come to recognize as necessary in order for me to wake up and live everyday. It's the nourishment my soul requires before anything else.
This...this is my success.