[ 3 min read ]
Diary of an artist, Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Woke up 3:55 am.
What is success? Is mass popularity success? Are upvotes and nice comments the sign of success?
These are the next questions which I ask myself.
If I called my two most popular answers on Quora (very close to 1M views and very close to 0,5M views) successful then what does it mean? Does it mean that answers which have 1K views or less (and only a couple of upvotes / likes, or even none) are unsuccessful? Is this the right method of measuring success?
Of course the same question applies to my other writing — blog posts and books.
What about the answers and pieces I like the most, of which I’m the proudest? Are they unsuccessful because only I like them (or only I and three other people, instead of three thousand) like them?
Is popularity (a.k.a. market success) the real measure of success? Is it the only measure of success? Can there be other measures of success? If yes, which kind of success is more important and why? Who gets to decide which kind of success is more important (and why this person)?
If I wrote a piece and I like it a lot (am very proud of it) is this in and of itself a success? Why not? Is the fact that I made something (produced some content, did some writing that day) and put it out there already a success? Why not?
Not everybody can do that. Not everybody has the guts to do that. Not everybody will be willing to risk being seen and judged by a large number of people (potentially). Not everybody will be willing to try something new. Not everybody will be willing to break the mould. Not everybody will be willing to show his or her “weirdness”. Not everybody will be OK with being wrong from time to time (or often). Not everybody will be OK with having a lot of failures (a similar, or even the same question — is everything we call failure a failure?). Not everybody will be willing to leave his or her comfort zone and venture into the unknown. Not everybody will keep doing something if he or she is the only person who believes in it. Not everybody will keep doing something if nobody (or almost nobody) cares. If only three people cared, is it worth it? If you make new content each day and only a dozen people care consistently (for example your Instagram posts get on average a dozen or a couple of dozen likes and only one out of 50 or 100 gets more attention, whereas someone else’s posts are liked on average by hundreds or thousands of people) is it worth it?
In this new light, again What is success?
Reading (since my last diary entry):
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (20 min, on scribd app).
Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz (20 min, on scribd app).
Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is by Friedrich Nietzsche (20 min, on scribd app). I’m done with this crap. Read 40% and will not spend even a second longer on it.
Audiobooks (since my last diary entry):
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (20 min, on scribd app). Second reading.
YouTube videos and movies (since my last diary entry):
Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt for Bin Laden (on HBO Go) Finished it.
Music for this writing session: Coffee Table Jazz (playlist on spotify)