When Nobody is Listening

It's hard to create for an audience when you don't have one. Who is going to enjoy and judge what you make today if nobody is listening?

To me, not having an audience can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it gives you freedom to make whatever you want, to discover—for yourself—what you enjoy doing with no one to complain about it. On the other hand, is the danger to be discouraged by wrongly identifying nobody is listening as nobody cares.

What would you paint or draw or write or code or sing or film if you could focus on what gives you joy? And how and why would you do it? The answer might be behind the things you enjoy from other creators, or in a particular thing the world lacks that you'd like to get in your hands tomorrow.

If the time comes when people closely follow what you do, you are at risk of letting your craft be influenced by the constant feedback loop of the internet and the opinions of others.

This is why the early steps in anything you do should provide you with solo time to learn and decide about what you love doing and why, to be clear about how to do it even when people are listening.

April 15, 2018