The anxiety of "starving artist" is hovering about like a swarm of gnats. Nothing too painful yet, just an annoying buzzing that threatens my peace and harmony. I admit, I have not been focusing any energy on money making endeavors, not short term money anyway. I did have the nice influx of cash at the end of June, from a very labor intensive job. That money has gone, of course. Now, underemployed, I am holding onto the idea that I don't have to spend all my days working for someone else, doing something that I wish I didn't have to, just to make enough money to survive by the skin of my teeth. I hate the idea that all my physical and mental energy has to be spent to line the pockets of someone else.
I have discovered that I don't have the temperament to make a living with any artistic endeavor. I am too emotionally invested in everything I do. Any problem that arises feels like a personal attack, a slap in the face, an assault on my fragile ego. To have to put a price on art seems somehow vulgar, painful even. For the amount of time I spend creating something, there is no way I will make even minimum wage, and yet I feel as if I have to apologize when I ask for payment. I do not have the confidence in my worth. Too many years of being undervalued in almost every aspect of my life has left me with a gaping wound where an ego should be. Why does does the ability to make an honest living with my talents bring me face to face with my own feelings of inadequacy? It isn't fair. I have made so many attempts over the years to hawk my wares, only to be made to feel as if I am not worth a few dollars. I have heard it said that you are only a failure if you give up. That may be true. But how many times do I need to fail in order to finally succeed?
Now, as bills come in, and I see them side by side to money owed to me, it is hard not to feel angry and bitter. This is why I can't be an artist. I do not have the ability to stand up for myself, demand what is owed to me, feel confident in my own worth. It is all good and well to have people shower me with praise for my level of skill, but that sure as shit don't pay the bills.
Yes, this is a Pity Party, table for one. I am trying to dig deep into the heart of my own feelings of inadequacy. Hoping to find an answer within myself, not have to look to an outside source for validation and approval. But really, that is what being an artist is; your worth and validation is based on how other's value your work. There has to be a spark of self-promotion, ego, vanity. That is not my spark. My inner fire is so far removed from the realm of self-promotion that I panic at the idea of having to ask for money. I need to find a way to tap my own Fire. There has got to be a way for me to walk my own path, be comfortable in my decisions, and still manage to make a living doing something that I love. But I am floundering. I need to focus. I need to regain my footing. I need to find my way. Damn, I need sleep.