A hack, he says, is a writer who second-guesses his audience. When the hack sits down to work, he doesn’t ask himself what’s in his own heart. He asks what the market is looking for.
The hack condescends to his audience. He thinks he’s superior to them. The truth is, he’s scared to death of them or, more accurately, scared of being authentic in front of them, scared of writing what he really feels or believes, what he himself thinks is interesting. He’s afraid it won’t sell. So he tries to anticipate what the market (a telling word) wants, then gives it to them….He writes what he imagines will play well in the eyes of others. He does not ask himself, What do I myself want to write? What do I think is important? Instead he asks, What’s hot, what can I make a deal for? — Steven Pressfield
Your false self is the accumulation of all the voices you have internalized from other people—parents and friends who want you to conform to their ideas of what you should be like and what you should do, as well as societal pressures to adhere to certain values that can easily seduce you — Robert Greene
I’ve recently been learning about various artists, scientists and writers who were mostly unsuccessful during their lifetime. The world rejected their gift because they didn’t like it or understand it nor was it trendy. The flip side of this was that their work was celebrated after they died. Sadly, some of these creatives suffered from frustration, mental illness, depression and some even committed suicide.
There’s this popular idea that if you work hard and pursue your calling that you’ll experience success in this life. Yes, you’ll experience personal success but there’s no guarantee that you’ll experience popular success. Personal success means that you followed the call and desire that was deep within you no matter the cost. That may also mean that you’ll experience financial difficulty, long late nights, lack of appreciation and the questioning and frustration regarding why you work so hard yet get no attention. One of the worst things you can do in this instance is to try to change who you are or change your career trajectory in life to match what is popular around you. There’s a strong possibility that what you do now may not impact your generation but the future generations that will come after you.
And here comes an important fact that I’ve been learning recently: you have to see your internal value as a person irrespective of whether people acknowledge you or not. You can’t wait for the world to tell you who are or approve of what you do before you accept yourself. You have to tell yourself who you are and sometimes you have to walk through the wilderness alone. This is easy to say in theory, but bloody difficult to put in practice!! You have to weather storm and at the end of your life you’ll appreciate the fact that you didn’t sacrifice who are for money or the approval of people. Put in the work, follow the inner voice in you and get back up when you fall down and don’t give up. The road to greatness isn’t easy but it’s worth it. I hope this post encourages anyone who is passionately following their calling despite all the negative voices to contrary. Have a blessed day!!