I recently read a convicting article by Donald Miller, one of my favorite authors and bloggers. When I was looking through my Google Reader, (may it rest in peace one very sad day…) I was immediately grabbed by the title: The Difference Between an Artist and an Entertainer. It was then I experienced a brief identity crisis, thinking, “Oh gosh, which one am I?!” Shortly after, I found solace in Donald’s words. I encourage you to read his article linked above.
As creatives, I will be the first to admit that it’s hard being an artist. We want to leave our mark on the world, but we desire so much for that mark to be well received.
I want people to like my music, but it is foolish of me to think that everyone who hears it will love it. I don’t love every song I hear, so why would any other human being?
I want my students to find my teaching engaging, though I have to accept that there’s going to be students who just aren’t interested.
Being an artist takes a lot of bravery. We need to accept that reaching someone is more important than reaching everyone. Sometimes we need to accept reaching no one.
Can you play for an audience of 2? Can you teach a class of students who have no interest in your subject? Can you write a book that no one reads?
Be brave. Write that song and sing it. Teach that lesson. If anything, you have brought the inside out, and that’s all we can ask of ourselves. So what are you creating for?