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The Your Ladders Blog

There are a lot of things to think about when you're navigating a performing arts path. These blog topics will help.

Where's the Joy?

For the purposes of this blog, let me define the difference between pleasure and joy. Pleasure is a short term shot of happiness. Pleasure is being cast in a show, getting a gig booked, reading a good review, seeing an article about your work. Pleasure is a lovely but fleeting thing.

But pleasure isn’t joy.

Joy is the long term, sustained feeling. Joy doesn’t mean that the path is smooth, or that there aren’t bad days. But joy is the underlying feeling that gets you through the rough spots.

Does your artistic work bring you joy?

There may be parts that don’t. In my writing life, getting that first draft done is a challenge. A friend once described it as putting a log through a meat grinder, and she was right. There isn’t pleasure in that first draft.

But there is joy. I know that this is part of the process of writing, and that gives me great joy. So I’d rather be struggling with my first draft than not be a writer.

So, here are my questions this...

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What Do You Tell Folks About Your Work?

Last week’s blog post was about “Why Are You Doing Your Work?", with an accompanying worksheet designed to help you drill down on that. Often a creative path requires a hustle that blurs your reason for doing the work in the first place, so figuring out your why is critical.

This week, let’s have a conversation about what you tell folks about your work. You “tell” folks in conversation. But you also tell folks by how you show up in the world.

I remember the first time I made a business card that said “writer” on it. I’d only begun my journey as a writer who wanted to be published. Up until then I loved writing, but didn’t take my talent seriously enough to pursue with intention. That changed almost twenty years ago, and I decided I was going to my first conference to meet other writers and learn. At the last minute I ran out and bought a sheet of business cards I could print out. I put my name and email on it, and added...

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