A decade now, over that if I’m honest. I began throwing my words out into the universe on a public scale way, way back in probably 2003. What began as Brain Rain on a blogger.com platform, slowly grew into the Tumblr space, and from there into the weird world that is social media. I never saw any of this coming, I never intended on anyone outside my family and few friends reading a single word I would ever write. It was drilled into me by just about every teacher, save one or two, that there’s no living to be made in the arts, that less than 1% of 1% make it into anything that resembles a career. Try law, they said, you’re good at arguing.
My position on the Autism Spectrum made the prospect of a ‘real job’ terrifying, from a young age. I knew before I graduated high school, that landing, holding, and enjoying a profession in which I was not, in fact, in control of my destiny overwhelmingly out-of-reach, immensely impossible. So I hustled. And hustled. And then hustled a bit more on top of it. Everything from freelance writing gigs talking about medical imaging equipment, to golf clubs, to false eyelashes, I jumped into as a way to work for myself, work from home, and try my damndest to pay the bills. 18 years later, my goodness I am blessed to call the creation of art my job. Whether it’s in the form of photography, capturing memories for weddings, travel, or whatever else blows our way, or in the words I write, I am one of those lucky 1% of the 1% that they swore would never happen. I don’t understand, still, how this happened, and all I can attribute it to is the hustle. The nose to the grindstone, the brushing off failures, the refusal to call successes successes and the pushing higher. Fact is though, man oh man am I tired.
Along the way, you learn things. You learn things that could, if you aren’t careful, make you very cynical. You learn what it looks like behind the curtain of these world we perceive as so wonderful, so out-of-reach, so fantastic. You learn that art, just like everything else, is a business, and no matter what you wish for, it can come back around to the bottom line. I am not a proud man, I truly don’t feel pride for much of anything I’ve ever accomplished or done, in fact I’ve said in numerous poems that the only thing I’m truly proud of is that wild animals trust me enough to let me touch them, but I will say this:
As hard as the Business end of this hustle tried to chew me up, spit me out, and turn my heart black and cynical, it never has.
Yes, I am exhausted, yes, I am worn out from trying to figure out why Instagram hides my posts from so many of the wonderful people that choose to follow me, Yes I am sick of trying to sell people on why they should sign up for a FREE version of my newsletter to read posts like these, sick of trying to convince people that paying $5 a month is worth it, that I deserve it for how hard I work on them. I am sick of pitches for more jobs, the hustle of trying to keep a family afloat on words, on images, alone. Bottom line, it’s hard, but my god it’s beautiful. This Sunday Edition (more on this soon), is just to say that maybe there’s a reason less than 1% of 1% make a living out of unconventional lifestyles, and that it’s because it demands constant hustle. Forever. Without a steady paycheck, we know, if we stop hustling, we stop eating, and somewhere along the way, we have to fight the real fight: Not looking at the art we’re born to make as a burden, but a blessing, no matter what comes.
For your part in helping me live this dream, I just humbly say Thank You. I would not be here if you were not here, quite simply. So, from the bottom of my tired heart, Thank You.
Sick of the hustle,
of this constant dissection,
the business of art.
Haiku on Life by Tyler Knott Gregson
Song of the Day
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