You Can't Do It All: How To Manage Your Art Expectations
As we progress as artists more people will discover our work and more opportunities and inquiries will come our way. In this sense things have the opportunity to become increasingly complicated and overwhelming. Being able to turn good opportunities down can become an important skill. So, too, can seeing that some of the opportunities would have been great for you to pursue two years ago but not any longer.
Howard Stevenson is truly a business man who has acheived many things and had to manage his life and time accordingly. When interviewed by Harvards Business Review he described the search for a meaningful and multi-faceted life in the following way:
"He likens the challenge to walking on a balance beam while trying to juggle an egg, a crystal glass, a knife, and any number of other fragile or hazardous objects. As you progress in your career and life, more responsibilities and opportunities are tossed at you. And so at some point, to maintain your balance, you’ll have to drop something. The key is to decide consciously what to relinquish instead of unwittingly letting go of the most important item." - Harvard Business Review
This point of understanding that you can only hold so many fragile objects is very, very important. Think about all of your responsibilities and consider if there are some things which you should let go of in order to move forward. It's important to note that there will be certain things that are so important to you that you will never let them go.
New opportunities are like shiney things! They have allure and you can see their gleaming potential. But they have to be carefully measured against what you already have going on. Can you make room for the new opportunity? What will get sacrificed to make way for the new opportunity? See it's much better that you make that decision than have that decision made for you because your work suffers or you run out of time.