Much like good help, some well-known people are hard to find. Others—Bob Goff for example—have made themselves easy to reach (he put his cell phone number in the back of his book, for laughing out loud).
I’ve often considered which lifestyle is more appealing.
There is something idyllic about living in a remote cabin far from society, only submitting your work through a complex chain of untraceable contacts, including a speckled northeastern carrier pigeon. But I imagine such a life could get lonely. And I hear carrier pigeons make foul company.
Then again, being surrounded by a posse of watchful guards and raving fans all the time sounds overwhelming. I’ve heard, and believe, that some of the most famous people in the world are also the most lonely.
After all, just because your famous doesn’t mean you have many close friends. Actually, I think fame often becomes a barrier to true friendship. Are they really your friends or do they just want to get something out of you?
So, which is better for a creative? I think there is room for a bit of both.
It’s important to make time for the people who appreciate the creative work you make, even if you’ll never meet them in person. This could be a short email, a phonemail, or even a reply on social media. It shows people that you care that they care.
Personally, I’ve reached out to a few successful creatives (artists and authors) and when I get a response, man, it really made my day.
But, even more important, there is a necessary time to get away from the crowd, to turn off all those notifications. Your work may belong to your fans, but you do not. Besides that, your family should get special attention from you that no one else does.
It’s also important to maintain a few close friendships. This could, and even should be people who have no specific interest in your own creative pursuits. Such people help round you out and can be a support for you when other areas in life are a struggle.
No matter how well known you are or how successful your work is, we all need to be part of a community. We also need a place where we can find peace, quiet, and safety—an escape from masses.
As Dorothy realized, there really is no place like home, even if that home happens to be in a bird sanctuary high in the Rocky Mountains.