My wife found these exercises in a book called "How To Get Started Selling Your Art," by Carole Katchen.
The first writing exercise is to confront your fears. So here it goes:
1. If I become an artist, I will have to: live a life that lacks structure. I won't know when I'll wake up or when I'll go to bed, or if I'll have the money to keep the lights on at the end of the month.
2. If I become an artist, I will only: be viewed upon by others as an unemployed bum taking up space and valuable resources in a overpopulated down sized economy.
3. If I become an artist, I will never: build a space shuttle, or be anything else that would require a different skill set, because being an artist will be the prime focus of my professional life.
4. If I become an artist, no one will: No one will truly understand the way I view the world as I exist in it. I will be alone in my perceptions and in my process of how I create the art I make as a physical form from that which was once only a thought of mental visualization in my mind.
5. If I become an artist, everyone will: Everyone will expect me to die of starvation in my car that I'll be living in alone with water bottles filled with my urine.
6. If I become an artist, people will think: That I am some kind of criminal conspiring against them in some unknown way, or that I can't be trusted because they won't consider being an artist a respectable occupation.
7. If I become an artist, people will be afraid: That I will murder them and chop them up into tiny pieces and stuff them into a 'Hello Kitty' suitcase, or that I will end up as a male prostitute on Hollywood Blvd.
8. If I become an artist, I will lose: my sanity when I become famous, trash hotel rooms, and that the power of popularity and influence over people will corrupt me into something ugly and perverse.
9. If I become an artist, I will have to give up: Any hopes or dreams that I had of anything else I ever wanted to do for a living.
10: If I become an artist, my friends will: laugh at me and vandalize my property.
11: If I become an artist, my family will: lecture me until they talk me out of it, and into some lame minimum wage, no brainer retail job, or they will expect me to use my artistic talent to serve them for free at every occasion in their lives.
12. If I become an artist, my life will be too: chaotic, stressful and uncertain.
This next writing exercise is to consider how you'll feel if you don't become an artist.
1. If I don't become an artist, I'll never: realize my full potential.
2. If I don't become an artist, I'll have to: go back to school for another 3 to 5 years to learn another trade.
3. If I don't become an artist, I can: beg for money on the streets for a living, or just do nothing except sleep, eat and watch tv all day while my wife does all the work.
4. If I don't become an artist, I might: end up working retail for the rest of my life wondering what I might have achieved had I became an artist.
5. If I don't become an artist, I'll regret: not doing what I truly love to do for a living.
6. If I don't become an artist, I'll be glad: that I'll have a chance to find another career doing something more conventional.
7. If I don't become an artist, I'll think: that I'm a total loser for quitting on a dream that I've had since I was a child.
8. If I don't become an artist, I'll wish: that I could be 15 years younger, so I could go back to school and learn a trade in computer science.
9. If I don't become an artist, I'll always: feel that if I had that I would have been happier with myself.
10. If I don't become an artist, I'll be able to: have lots of time to rethink my life and decide what I want to do for a career, and how that will affect my life and those around me.
11. If I don't become an artist, I'll never be able to: look at a movie, a painting or any work of art without being reminded of the opportunity I gave up.
12. If I don't become an artist, I'll feel: really really bad! :(
Wow, so I guess I should continue the art thing. I really like being an artist because it allows me to use my mind in a way that makes me think about things in ways that I wouldn't in any other situation. When I create art, I always feel like something wonderful is happening.