Creative work is bizarre… as the guideposts are often internal. In every other industry, success can be measured, indicated, and adorned onto you.
But in creative work, the ultimate indicator of success is within: only you know if you’ve expressed your self fully, faithfully.
There are no titles, little money, and no awards (ha) for doing this.
The reward is the act itself… the process of extracting an idea from your brain… pulling it out through your body and placing it into some sort of external medium (writing, canvas, song, dance, conversation, food)…
And many times, many many many times, we fall short in this process of extraction. It lingers within, reminding us that there was a little more to squeeze.
And maybe, most times, a tiny morsel of the idea remains… as a seed to inspire the next piece…
If that seed is any good (and if we know how to cultivate it), it might yield not just a single fruit, but a whole forest or garden.
Tending to this garden is the reward.