Three weeks ago I celebrated my 44th birthday. It’s been more than half-a-lifetime since that afternoon in high school when I realized with the clarity of a bell that I wanted a life filled with books and music and movies; I wanted to make stuff.
Here are a few things I've leaned in the ensuing years. Some I’ve come close to mastering. Others, well, let just say a bit more practice is in order.
No one will ever care as much about your art as you do. Only you can know enough to answer the tough questions, like, is it worth the effort?
Find someone who can teach you what you need to know and stick close.
Conversely, if you're not actively mentoring someone, you're doing your community a disservice.
When hiring others, find people who know more than you, then trust them to do their job.
There's always going to be someone better than you.
Other people's success is not a mark of your own failure.
Everyone, no matter how experienced, on some level is faking it. That is to say, no one knows exactly how their creativity works. We make up rituals. Mostly though, it's a mystery.
In the end, it comes down to love. If you love what you do, you'll find a way to keep doing it.