I can't help but feel I'm fighting desperately - and so futilely - against the current, sometimes.
It's always the same thing. I'll get obsessed over something, and throw myself whole-heartedly into it, or I'll decide I need to learn something and spend ridiculous lengths of time really grinding it, and gradually build a reputation for myself in some community somewhere. And then somebody always comes along and ruins everything by applying constant pressure on me to Publish. Or Market. Or Sell. And I see it all collapsing around my ears.
There's a reason why I wrote free articles for the free Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Earth Edition. There's a reason why I post to Deviant Art. Hell, there's a reason why I've spent all these years hiding behind pseudonyms. Because I don't want my real name to be associated with my work. Don't want there to be any connection between my family or educational background and the things I produce. Don't want to be found, ever.
I do these things because I love doing them. Because they relax me, or help drain all the negative emotion out of me when I need it. Sure, I'll occasionally take commissions here and there, but it's fun, I like doing it, and I can pace myself. But the moment you bring MARKETING into it, it stops being pleasure, because what is pleasure with all that stress? What will I have left to turn to, to relax? Damn it, I don't want my articles compiled into a book and sold at some store, or do t-shirt designs and greeting cards for some local company, or apply for work at an art institution. Or, God forbid - because this is the latest in the series of ridiculous things that well-meaning but entirely misguided people have been driving me insane with - hold a bloody exhibition. Other than the fact that I'm simply not good enough (and I know far better than any well-meaning but entirely misguided members of the family who think otherwise), I do not ever want my real self and my art in the same space, ever. Unfortunately, this is something I've never been able to make anyone understand. Something that I've just about given up trying to explain, even.
Pressure to publish was a major factor in causing me to stop writing for the Guide. (And even so, the pressure hasn't stopped; I almost lost my temper at a relative recently because of it). And now I'm beginning to feel that my journey in art is coming dangerously near an end. Because, seriously, I'm not sure I can take any more of this bullshit. If I must turn fun to work, I'd rather not have it at all.