Step 16

The Dreamer’s Manual:
Sixteen Steps to Achieve Your Creative Goals

Step 16: Persevere

Becoming a creative professional takes a long time and is a difficult process. There will be times when you will be tempted to give up and do something less demanding.

Don’t.

When it comes to pursuing your creative goals, the most important thing you can do is never give up on them.  Never, never, never.

There are countless reasons to continue to pursue your artistic goals in the face of hardship. Here are a few of them:

1. The longer you work towards your goal, the greater your chance of success

You increase the odds of achieving your goal over time, because you become more experienced, increase your network of co-creators and supporters, and improve your skills.

The second you give up on your dream, your chance of success vanishes. Even if there are times when your efforts have to take a back seat to other aspects of your life, as long as you continue working towards your goal, you can eventually accomplish it.

2. Making art is its own reward

People who are passionate about their art spend a lot of time creating it. If you never arrive at a point where your work earns praise and financial reward, at least you will enjoy the time you spend on it.

There are two stages of success with creative work:

  1. The satisfaction of creating it
  2. The rewards from external sources, such as praise and money

You only have control over the first stage. If the second stage occurs rarely, or not at all, you will have to be content with the the work itself, because it is all you can ever achieve on your own. If others choose to praise and pay for your work, consider it a bonus.

3. Your work will inspire others, as other’s work has inspired you

Artist look to each other for support and inspiration. If you continue to pursue your creative goals, despite steep odds, your example will encourage others to do the same.

4. There are more reasons to continue than to quit

Giving up is easy. All you have to do is stop putting effort into pursuing your goals. But it is a terrible choice. If something is important to you, there is no reason to give up on it.

The most important goals are often the hardest and take the longest to achieve. It is well worth the effort to work towards achieving your dreams. Your goals are an important part of who you are, and letting them go diminishes you.

If you are close to giving up on your dream, go back to your original inspiration. What was it that made you want to pursue your goal in the first place? If you  still feel inspired, if some part of you still wants to follow your dream, then do. There is more benefit to continuing than quitting.

Don’t quit.

Step 16: Persevere