Art in any form releases feelings of accomplishment, even if no one ever views the resulting work. I am an artist in my heart, and I love to watch something come out of nothing. Many people around me are also artists, and we all share the same conundrum – we are all waiting for our art to make it big in the world.

We all create for the sake of creation, but we all share our creations, making ourselves raw to the world. Most of us want to sell what we’ve created, hoping that one day, we’ll let go of that day job and work exclusively on our art.

I was once one of the devoted, working hard in every free moment to try to get someone to pay attention to my side hustle. I was working hard toward that end goal while life was happening beside me. I had two children in my twenties when the realization of my dream was just beginning to take hold. Giving them a terrific childhood while trying to market for my dream found me running in two parallel worlds. After they were grown into teenagers who took more interest in developing their personal worlds, I devoted more time to my dream. Then, their sister was born.

After the birth of my third child, I took a long, hard look at my dream. I sifted through the work I had already created, and what I was currently attempting to market. I thought about the older kids, then looked at my new daughter, and knew I had to keep working on my dream. It would have been far easier to give it up because here I was with another child to raise. However, it was because of all three of them that I simply had to keep going.

My teenagers know what I’m trying to accomplish. What would I say to them if I gave up now? What would I show their sister if I gave up on my dream? Certainly, marketing efforts and creation take a pause for children, but they must only be paused for a short time. Dreaming the dream, and living the reality, must continue for the sake of teaching the kids to always push forward. I must continue with my dream because they will always be expected to do the same.

If I never sell another piece of work, if I never “make it big”, I will always live with the knowledge that I never gave up. This is what my children will see, and this is what I want to show them. Giving up is not an option when it is such an important life lesson for three amazing people who depend on me to show them the way.

Stay strong and push forward. You never know who is watching you, and who you are influencing through your strength of character.