Other creatives are your inspiration and enjoyment, not your competition
It takes a lot of guts and sacrifice to pursue a creative career. If you are doing just that, then you are amongst an exclusive group of people who had a dream as a child, spent most of their teenage years indoors honing their skills and have somehow managed to keep their dreams alive in spite of every distraction and challenge that comes with adulthood. We've all felt like the weird one — misunderstood and underestimated. Questioned our abilities and our life choices. And yet we still keep going.
It's hard out here. Whatever field you are in, there is only a tiny percentage of people who had that childhood dream that will ever be able to make a living from doing what they love. That doesn't mean we should be treating other people as our competition.
It's a mistake easily made, and perhaps most often amongst females, to compare ourselves to others and question if we have what they have. And if not why not? It comes from a place of insecurity and fear of our own failure, and if you are stuck in that cycle as we all can be from time to time, there is a brighter and more enjoyable path for you to take instead.
You see, it's not often said as we all scroll through endless articles about how we can cut through the noise and achieve our own success, but there is room for everyone. You might not consider yourself the best singer, for example, but your listeners find your voice unique and think you sing with a raw emotion that really connects with them. You might not consider yourself the most technical artist, but fans of your work love your creativity and the way your personality and outlook shines through everything you touch.
I've often said that I believe we make music for ourselves and other people like us. Perhaps that saying can extend to all forms of art. One day, if we put in consistent effort, we will find those people who 'get it'. They will trickle in slowly at first, until we will become dumfounded by the fact that we weren't actually that weird after all because there are tonnes of other people who feel the same way that we do about the world.
You are special. You are unique. You are beautiful in your own way, and you exist in your own lane. So do other creatives. So let's take the chance to enjoy and appreciate others. Be inspired by their talent and their achievements. Support them if they ever appear to be struggling. Wish them all the success in the world and genuinely mean it. Because as someone in High School Musical said once (and I must admit i've never watched it because as we all know by now I saw the Lion King in '94 and knew I never had to see any film ever again because i'd reached the peak of cinema), “We're all in this together”.