From a personal perspective, the artist’s mind is never still. We may have crystal clear clarity on a project but our minds are still thinking of 1001 different things we can write or create. This had led me to take on many projects over the past 15 years. I have been a magazine editor, the owner of a zine distro, a zine writer and a publisher. The latter is still very much in my blood and I will continue to publish anthologies. However, I have done many other things that may not have lasted or have changed in the course of their infancy. I have beaten myself up for years because I truly believed that I didn’t actually make anything out of these ventures. I was expected that this “writing thing you do” would bring me my own house, two cars and the luxury to go on holiday three times a year. It is only now that I realise, I haven’t failed at all. You see, we all let our upbringing, our peers and the media dictate success. It also dictates our happiness and I have learned that watching foxes play or hearing birds singing in a nearby tree is much more rewarding than a £250 handbag. I enjoy buying second-hand books, inexpensive journals and tea. I like to feed my soul and not my ego or anyone else expectations.
We want happiness and that doesn’t always come with success. True happiness comes from within and from personal accomplishment. On my daily commute I am always sat with people in suits, obviously on their way to their high paid, high-powered jobs. They look down at this black clad girl that is dripping in silver jewellery, dark lined eyes and raven hair. They think I am below them but do you know what I really want to do? I want to stand up and shout “I am the richest person on this train” – I am. I don’t have a great deal of money but I have what I need. Yes, need not want. I have a home, I have food on the table, enough money to buy books and I write. It’s all I need and to me that isn’t failure, that is success. If success to you is being rich and famous then we are obviously using a different ruler to measure things.
Have the courage to cut things dead if you don’t feel like your project isn’t working. Re-evaluate it first, sit down and brainstorm, sleep on it and then wait a few days. Still don’t want to pursue it? Then put it aside. Never think you have failed. Move on. It’s like looking at your CV and telling a new employer that you failed at all these jobs because you left them, no, it is called evolving, growing and moving on. Just because we are discussing creativity it doesn’t make it any less real. Feedback can be good and if it’s critical then take that on-board but remember, don’t tolerate the backwards, conformist way of life; let your freak flag fly.