Did you know that monks spend just as much time alone as they do in community? For them to completely uphold their commitment they be just as disciplined in the noise and as they are in the silence. Just as monks or nuns lives are extremely individual but equally communal, so is the journey of being a freelance artist.
There will be days when you need to work alone. There will be hours needed in a noisy meeting or reception to share your work. You have to balance and indulge both climates. But it takes discipline and consistent practice.
The number ONE thing I see take artists off balance is the idea that they are alone. Most artists love being surrounded by their work. They can talk about it for hours, they can manipulate, pontificate, and rewrite for days. Only to come out of this haze with no baring on day, place, or time. They realize they have been vulnerable and truthful enough to create something incredible. And with this commitment to one extreme it can leave you feeling alone.
SO FIGHT BACK...
- Get into community
- Explore MeetUp, Freelancers Union, Shared Work Space, Shared Studio Space, OR Literally invite 5 of your artists friends to drinks
- Put time into that community
- Schedule at least 30 min a week to check in with people, share you work, have a live reading, get feedback
- Give as much as you hope to receive from that community
- If you want people to bounce your ideas off the you also need to be able to observe their work. MAJOR TIP - always ask if they are "actually looking for feedback or just need a sounding board"
- And then share that community
- Brag about your community so we can we remind other artist, who might feel isolated, that THEY ARE NOT ALONE