This post is about Sarah Daltry’s decision to stop publishing her art.
If you read her words and walk away feeling smug or ambivalent, you have thoroughly missed the point. I don’t know Sarah personally, but she was one of the first online book launch parties I attended, and I found her to be funny and kind.
I hate that another person has found the lack of support from the rest of humanity to be the undercurrent that forces her to close the door on her creative efforts. I’ve written on this topic before, and as someone who knows what it is like to go it alone, it is a topic dear to my heart.
Some have read Sarah’s post and callously commented that she is just upset that she hasn’t become a bestselling author, and the detractors declared her “hide” not thick enough. These comments only validate her claims.
The words I read paint the picture of a woman who has worked diligently to follow her dreams, but she has realized that following that path doesn’t guarantee you success, happiness, fame, fortune, or friends. The meager pay and isolation that most experience just isn’t enough to keep working night and day to please an audience that may never be reached.
Independent artists are working harder than ever before, and it is physically and emotionally draining. The endless pull on our time and wallet can be overwhelming. If artists do not have that energy and expense replenished, they are forced to choose between the demands of the everyday and the creative forces that beckon. The mortgage and an empty stomach will always win out.
In this high-tech world we live in, it is a sad statement of fact that people are more disconnected from one another than ever before. While many algorithms of social media work against the creative who strives to get their art in front of the world audience, it isn’t the primary reason so many voices go unheard. If you like something, share it! Spread the word by hitting a simple button. Support the creative endeavors of others, whether they have written a book, composed a song, or opened a small business. Purchase the works of independent artists before all of their voices have gone silent.
If you cannot purchase something, at least embrace the impact you have on the life of another. It takes nothing from you to be kind—absolutely nothing. The kindness you show may be the very act that gives another the very nod of support they were seeking. That nod may compel the artist to return to their work, or it may just keep them from harming themselves. Each of us has that power. Own the power, and be a force of good in someone’s life. If you live long enough, you too will one day seek a light in the darkness.
We are all in this together. Isn’t it time we started acting like it?