Who am I writing for?
This really has me thinking...there really is such a push/pull between obscurity and recognition. It's complex for me - I want to be acknowledged and yet I intentionally only allow 20 to follow me on instagram because I fear people creeping in on what is mine.
About a month ago I attended a virtual meeting with an artist I admire (she has real fame and success). There was only about 7 of us in total on the call. She said as she's returning more and more to her authentic self, she'd rather have an audience of 7 people who are reliable and connected and vulnerable with her, than an audience of 7,000 who she fails to connect with...I've been keeping that in mind :)
PS - I too have felt "small" when I read about the MONEY some people make on here
You are tackling such a big topic here Belle - and doing it with such grace. The search for meaning in our life and purpose in our work is not a cliche, it’s a real quest and artists live at the pointy end of this dilemma, often an uncomfortable place to be. I love, love this piece. Your writing is going from strength to strength.
Every paragraph of this piece hits me deeply. I remember being a little kid and thinking to myself: "if I don't make it big, I'll have failed." I've spent so many years meanly reinforcing that for myself. Getting older, I feel it softening, though. Partly, I think, because I've discovered more and more of what I want to say and so I feel like it's more for me, and less for the audience.
Anyway, I know a lady who is really big and she says it makes her sad--she can't ride the subway (let alone stare at people). She can't let people into her inner world because there's always the fear of an agenda. Writing this, I wonder if the irony of doing good work is in KEEPING a degree of anonymity: ordinariness is an entry-way into lots of places. It's hard to be a keen observer when you're the one being observed...
Isabelle, keep writing. I love your work so much.
Beautifully written as always, Isabelle, and completely relatable.
"When I first started writing this newsletter my main thought was ‘who cares what you have to say’. But I kept gently reminding myself that if every single maker of books and art and film and music thought that and did nothing the world would be so joyless and cave-cold that it wouldn’t be worth living in. The only saving grace would be the trees and bird song."
Those gentle reminders mean everything. Also worth mentioning...those very same makers of books and art and film and music have probably (most definitely!) thought the same thing.
Fame is a function of merely garning the majority of your fellow troglodytes.
What you do with it is merely a reflection of your character.
From what I've seen in my 52 years... All those with fame are dead inside.
And those who seek it are not those I associate with...
Just caught up with this post and it really resonates with me at the moment. Having a new baby in the house has made me appreciate just how much the algorithm doesn't care about you as a person. Creating for community or for yourself is a pursuit that moves with you through your life stages and adjusts expectations accordingly. But the algorithm doesn't care about your life circumstances. It just wants consistent engaging posts indefinitely with no guarantee of success. The algorithm wants to be your number one priority.
Your words have an echo and an impact full of many feelings that bring us back to what is inside us.
I think you articulated very well, it’s always enjoyable to hear what u have to say, very thoughtful as well xx
Incredible words Bella. It's so lovely to see your commitment to your craft. Irrespective of fame, subscribers or accolades - you're an absolute star. Very honoured to be in that group of 9 you speak to on the phone ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
This is so beautifully written, relatable, and thought provoking. Thank you for sharing these words❤️
-- Such a beautiful, honest piece.
“A sense of wonder can find you in many forms, sometimes loudly, sometimes as a whispering, sometimes even hiding inside other feelings.” -- Diane Ackerman.
Thank you for these sensible reflections, Isabelle. Xx.