Create Like Nobody's Watching!
Most cringe-worthy title ever? Probably. But it makes me laugh so I'm just gonna go with it.
The sentiment is important though. How much is your work influenced by the viewer or buyer? And how do you feel about their influence? Does it make you enjoy your work more or less?
If you're sacrificing your vision for what you think others want you may find your work becomes a burden.
Ideally, for the most joyful creative practice, you should be making what excites you most—what you would create if no one ever saw/heard/experienced it but you.
Ideally, this also supports you, but I think that financial success should be built on a foundation of good, fulfilling work, otherwise what's the point? So let's focus on the work first.
What would you create if you were the last person on earth, and you were just doing it for the enjoyment you felt?
Is this the work you should be making now?
Of course, there's always that thing about serving others, making the world a better place, etc.
This is where a mission statement comes in handy.
Create a mission statement you are truly excited about, then any work that you do can be both exciting and purposeful.
It may seem counter-intuitive to create the work you just enjoy most and expect that to also be helpful to others, but here's the thing:
The fact that you are excited about the work means it's the right work. And that excitement will translate into it and be beneficial to others. And you are not only helping people with the work, but you're helping people by modelling the idea of a passionate creator, which is inspiring on its own.
The world needs passionate creators!
It's important to help others, but we don't want a world full of people putting themselves last. It just doesn't make any sense. We want a world filled with passionate people who are able to do what they are meant to do, what they love to do, and include themselves in their activism—if you want to make the world better for people, remember that you're one of the people and leading by example is essential.
What would you create if it didn't matter what you created?