Exhaustion and Community
One of the artists that I admire is Amanda Palmer. Not just for her work, which is prolific and unique and a crazy mix of punk cabaret and not taking any shit from anyone, but for her ability to grow an amazing community of patrons unlike anything I’ve seen online before. The thing that makes her community so special is that I think they truly are a community. They share and comment and support each other and, Amanda as their grand dame, supports them back. She has grown this community to be able to put art out into the world at a pace which is exhausting for me to even watch, never mind do.
With her recent album release, No Intermission, I was stunned by the sheer amount of work that she was doing everyday to birth this project. She is on https://www.patreon.com, the website that allows people to directly support artists, so every time she ‘things’ something, she collects whatever the patron has pledged. And from AFP, it comes at you fast. And, it’s good. Very good.
Seeing all this community support flowing at her and the sheer amount of work that she has put into the album release alone (never mind the videos here and there and the writing and the new book project… OMG) made me actually feel even more exhausted than I already felt, having just completed my second semester at Goddard. Right now, as I’m slogging through the rest of my grades and having absolutely ZERO motivation to do so, I feel just beyond fatigued. I will literally do anything not to be working on what I should be woking on, which I suppose is why I am writing this post.
Becoming exhausted is a thing. I’m there. I need to recharge my batteries in a big way. Thinking ahead to the new year and the new semester, instead of feeling excited and all “full of possibility and ideas,” I feel fearful of the work. My energy reserves are low. And this got me thinking about artists’ communities and how they help motivation and fill that part of myself that needs to be filled to do work.
Right now I find myself craving an artist network that I can complain to and that will tell me that I’m doing a fantastic job and give me the support that I’m craving from other artists, or even just other tired people. Reddit?