I think the most aggravating conversation that creative and athletic people ever have goes something like this: “I want to be an artist (or photographer, painter, writer, baseball player, basketball player…you get the idea) when I grow up!” To which the adult probably responds by saying something to the effect of “Yeah, but it’s so hard to make a living doing that.” Or “Yeah, but the competition is very difficult, and not many people make it.”
I’ve heard and have been part of conversations like this at several points in my life. Now that I’m an adult who teaches art and photography, as well as someone who always has a creative iron in the fire, I can say without a doubt that being an artist, a writer, or an athlete is easy! Being able to assign yourself the label of artist, writer, or athlete doesn’t require anything more than engaging in the various activities that make up the enterprises in which you take interest. I, for example, own far too many art supplies and various types of paper, which I use regularly. I create drawings and paintings, post them to my Instagram and from time to time there will be something in my Etsy shop that I hope someone will find and appreciate.
I admit that I’m not as well-known as many other artists, but does that alone negate my validity as an artist? If someone aspires to play sports are they less an athlete because they play in a local adult league? No! What about the person that dedicates some time each day to sit in front of their computer, or typewriter, or even notebook to write? Does that individual have less of a right to claim the title of writer than a bestselling author? I don’t think so.
If you have the dedication and means to actively pursue creative and/or athletic goals then proudly call yourself an athlete! Proudly call your-self and artist or a writer or whatever else, and encourage others to do the same! Let’s motivate one another to pursue our passions instead of offering reasons to give up on our dreams.