Letters to a young poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
Rainer Maria Rilke writes to Franz Kappus in letters to a young poet to disregard criticism and trusting in his inners self - the only place where answer ought to be found.
Things have changed today. Next to criticism of others, there is a invisible, yet powerful force more powerful than criticism that is keeping creators from doing their work. It's irrelevance. In the evermore noisy world of the internet, the big danger is not criticism, it is the shortage of attention. As an aspiring writer in the 21st century, Rainer Maria Rilke's advise needs to be adjusted. We need to not only disregard criticism, but disregard the days of no one caring about our work, which is a preliminary phase as creators on the internet. Hence, do not let numbers, visitors or engagement trick you into giving up on the craft that loosely feels like a purpose. Go within your self, and find your reason for creating. Your reason for writing. Then, stay true to that reason and show up. Do the work regardless of who is watching. Because after all, you're doing it for you, not them. So be selfish and do your work. Even if no one cares (yet).
October 26, 2021