As a writer, I have long been impatient, rushing unabashedly to an end destination that I have decidedly labeled as "success". The destination is clear, but what awaits there is obscure. What exactly is success? I've wondered. And is this a worthwhile pursuit?
I know that overnight success is rare. Many of those who appear to have stumbled upon a plethora of success have been at their craft for longer than onlookers can see. Overnight success stories are more often than not the tip of the iceberg peeking out over the many years spent slaying over the craft.
Creative pursuits are really a game of exchange between the creator and the person appreciating their work. Success, then, should be about connection-- the degree to which the work you are doing brings you to the heart of who you are and how deeply the end product resonates with the recipients.
Merit is great, truly. After a good deal of time spent chipping away at one's craft behind closed doors, I'm sure that it feels triumphant to be acknowledged publicly. Still, I think that true success has much to do with the way what you are putting out into the world makes you and those who receive it feel. Do you enjoy the work that you're doing? Does doing this fulfill that deep, often unexpressed part of you? Is it rooted in truth?
Creativity may be one of the most sacred aspects of being human. When we wield this consciously, using it as a tool to speak to the truth of who we are and allow ourselves to get into a state of flow, we transmute this experience to those who take in the finished product, gifting them with a poem, song, painting, book, etc. that returns them to the truth of who they are. Even if my work never makes it's way beneath the gaze of another person, it is enough for me to have made something that rings true to me. Getting lost in the process of putting words to feelings never fails to bring me home to myself, which is ultimately what I am after when I create things.