When you’re discovering your voice, you feel a gap between the work you’re currently producing and work for which you’d like to be recognized and appreciated. You are simply not there yet.
And that’s OK. It never feels great coming back down to earth. It never feels great picking up that shovel and starting the unglamorous work of digging the foundations. But if you can hold on to the picture of the house you’re building, if you can remain inspired by it, a few things will slowly happen.
You’ll realize that you’re alone.
If you carry a killer screenplay around in your head, or on your hard drive, you are alone. If you have loads of ideas for songs but can’t find the time, you’re alone.
You need to close the gap. You need to make yourself vulnerable. You need to share your unfinished work and prepare for the tumbleweeds when nobody notices.
This requires that you leave your comfort zone. It requires time and energy that could be spent on just entertaining yourself. It requires sacrifice. You are sacrificing your free time. It’s a great cost.
But then, you begin to find others. You begin to see that it was never about your. It was about serving an audience with a perspective they need. By being honest about your own abilities and perspective, you start to close the gap.
There will always be plenty of opportunities to go shallower. That makes you disposable. It takes courage to do your own meaningful work. Courage that is eventually noticed by others.
Then, you're not alone.
Find the few people that care. They're all you need. You're all they need.