But, when I was asked last weekend about what I do, I answered my usual response: “I write for technology companies.”
You see, I write for technology companies as my day job. And whenever I say that, people already seem to get it. People already seem to understand. And somehow, I feel that I also impress them a bit, which feeds my ego (and boosts my self-esteem). It’s sexier. It’s shinier. It seems to be higher-paying.
I have also been blogging for four years. Yet, when asked about what I do, I seldom mentioned that I had a personal blog which I hope to, one day, be my full-time work.
I am always hesitant, even embarrassed, to tell others about what I really do (and want to be doing full-time in the future). A huge part of it is because I know how much (or how little) I am earning from these dreams of mine. I also know how many (or how few) are visiting my little blog every day.
I am also afraid of looking childish, even delusional, for having a romantic dream like making a living as an artist.
I am also afraid of being judged in case I fail.
But, every time I denied what I do and what I really wanted to do, a deep sense of regret seemed to follow.
“I wish I was bolder enough to declare my dream. I wish I was braver enough to tell others about what I do. I wish I was honest enough to let others know who I really am.” I often thought to myself.
An important lesson has always been there since the day I started chasing my dreams four years ago. It has been imparted by different people using different words. The people who have crossed the chasm separating the dreamers and those who have arrived applied this lesson:
You have to be who you want to be.
If you want to become a writer, write. When you write, then you already are a writer. There’s no point calling yourself a striving writer.
If you want to become an artist, create. When you create, you are already an artist. There’s no point calling yourself a wanna-be.
If you want to become an entrepreneur, go sell something. When you do, you already are one. It doesn’t matter how much you earn.
Whatever you want to be, just do it. When you do, call yourself one. Regardless of your following, your paycheck, or any other result. As long as you do it, you already are one.
You also tell others that you already are one. More importantly, you should tell yourself that you are one.
Should we fail, should we be judged, at least for a little while, at least for a brief moment, we have become who we want to be.
It has been four long years, but I’m finally acknowledging it and proclaiming it to myself and to the world (or at least to those who care):
I am a blogger. I am a webcomic artist. I am trying to make a difference.
And my fears, insecurities, or lack of results can no longer tell me otherwise.