[ 3 min read ]
As an artist or a writer you need to believe in yourself first.
Your cousin, or aunt, or spouse, or child, or sibling, or sister- or mother-in-law may not believe in you. As a matter of fact members of our families often don’t believe in our talents, or our unorthodox ideas, or big plans.
They all believe in their people when those people are still children. When we’re young our people tend to have faith in us which they then gradually lose.
They lose it partly because in some circles believing in your adult child’s talent is considered unbecoming. People who over-exaggerate the talents of their own people are often frowned upon. Apparently it pisses people off when someone brags about adult members of their families. You can brag when your offspring is still very young, because that’s normal. It is widely accepted that people brag about their children and tell people what kind of talents those young human beings have. But you can also cross a line. If you’re constantly and tirelessly promulgating how genius your child is, then most people will think you’re a mad man (or mad woman) and will not want to hear this bullshit from you anymore. They will avoid you.
It’s normal that people believe in their children. The aspirations and plans of those young human beings are so distant, and their future so unknown, that we don’t even think whether or not something is possible. They have their first successes (big and small), but they all belong to a different category of successes — they’re successes of children, not adults. Successes in adulthood are a different category.
When those young human beings turn into adults, then everything changes. What also changes is how our families view us and our ability to achieve certain things in life. It’s very common that the families perceive those who graduated from colleges and who got their diplomas and announced to the world what they will be as adults as already successful people, and with a potential for more. Those, on the other hand, who didn’t go to college, or who dropped out of college, or who don’t know what to do with their lives, are perceived as unsuccessful people with no future.
It’s also common that the families believe in the genius and above average, or even superhuman capabilities of those who already had conventional success early on in their lives. If, as still young people (in their 20s, or early 30s) they had won awards, and been recognized as and labeled great artists or writers, or had a fantastic career start and climbed the career ladder of a particular profession faster than most, then nobody has any doubt. Of course, some may not like it, they may envy the person, but one thing they can’t deny — this person’s success.
And, as a result of those first success, or string of successes (conventional success often begets more conventional success — i.e. until the general public is fed up with you and your successes, or found someone else) you can count on the support of the majority of your family, and their faith in you and your capabilities.
When, on the other hand, you didn’t have such successes early in your adulthood, that’s the clear sign to the majority of your family that you are not as talented as they thought, or not this genius they once took you for (when you were 5, 7, 10, or 13 years old).
More often than not there is no third option. You either proved in your early adulthood your talent and/ or genius, and you will be perceived as someone who can do anything, and everything you’ll do or make will be brilliant, or you didn’t (prove it), and as a result you and most of your ideas and plans (or even all of them) will be secretly or openly ridiculed by members of your family, and everything you’ll do or make, or write will not be worth looking at. It will be automatically assumed that it doesn’t have potential. It can’t have, because it’s too late, because recognition or attention should have been given to you and your work earlier (and if it didn’t happen it’s a clear sign that you aren’t an artist or a writer, or a talented human being, or genius), because nobody who starts this late succeeds. Now they can only see a lunatic in you.