You have the wrong definition of “everyone”
I used to think:
“Why should I write? Everyone will hate it.”
My definition of “everyone” included the 120-some odd people I knew or had met and the maybe 1,000 other people I was sort of aware existed. In my imagination, most of them lived in Tennessee. They all had the same mannerisms. They had 0.8 kids and were typically middle-middle class. I used to be pretty sheltered, I guess.
I started writing anyway. I wrote some more. I published a book.
Do you know where that book is selling best?
Up until recently, Japanese people were only a concept. I knew, of course, that Japan was a country. I knew there were people there. But now they were reading my book. Some of them, as it turns out, had been following for me quite some time.
What’s the point?
Your art will find its own audience.
Show us all you are. Show us all you have. Show us all you dream and fear. Show us your greatest desires and your heartbreaking tragedy.
Trying to figure out your target audience is the work of a businessman, not an artist. Create first, market second. Create first, take criticism second. Create first, do all else second.
How do you know if anyone will like it?
You are doing the wrong thing
“Todd, I have a driving passion for something, and it doesn’t seem to be panning out! Is this something I just have to go through, or a sign from the universe I should stop?”
That question really asks:
“Am I allowed to quit?”
First — of course you are allowed to quit. Quitting is underrated.
Second, when your dream is not working out the way you think it should, it might not be fit for your passion. People get confused and think “passion” is a word that means “something I really like.”
Which is not true.
Passion literally comes from the Latin root “pati” which means “to suffer.” If you aren’t suffering or haven’t suffered or won’t suffer, you don’t have a passion. You have an interest.
The hierarchy goes like this:
Interest > A Ton of Activity > Passion (maybe).
Do what you think you love for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, if you still love it, do it another 30 days. If you find something which is harder to quit than it is to keep going, that’s a clue.
You might repeat this process 12 times and reach 12 dead ends.
But it only takes one passion to change your life.
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