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So You Wanna Be a Star? Join a Constellation

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We long for our work to be appreciated, writes author and speaker Leslie Leyland Fields on The Wordserve Watercooler. We send our creative efforts--art, writing, photography, music--into the world, praying it connects with people and rises above our "competition."

Our publishers, managers, friends and agents tell us to market, find a hook, talk about our work and find our tribe. We want them to not regret the chance they took on us, so we spin our wheels and worry about numbers and charts and rankings.

It's enough to wear out the most ardent artist.

I like the advice Field gives. If you want to be a star, she says, join a constellation: "We are small. We are one among millions of talented, smart, creative others.Lucky us–we get to learn from them all. And the whole world does not come to us. Just a few. But there still is so much gladness here: that we pursued ideas. That a journal has taken our story. That our blog made someone laugh. That we got to discover new truths. All this, good. All this, happy. Will there be more? Who knows! Just keep at it."

She continues: "But listen closely. I am not saying dim your lights to take your small quiet place in the choir. Don’t be afraid to be brilliant and bold, to stake out your own corner. Don’t be afraid to question the lights already hung. But know, no matter how dazzling and original you are, you are surrounded by sizzling stars and a radiant moon that itself borrows light from another. Be glad of this."

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