The pounding heart.
The jangling nerves.
The beads of sweat.
You know you are afraid because you’ve been staring at your screen for ten minutes, wondering whether or not you should post what you’ve written.
You know you are afraid because the voice in the back of your head is telling you how insignificant you are.
You know you are afraid because you’ve been here before – at the line between who you are and who you want to be.
There’s just one little problem:
A Creative cannot live in fear.
You cannot live in fear.
On Fear of Beginning
Many people are, whether they admit it to themselves or not, afraid to even take the first step. They are afraid to even scratch that Creative itch because they feel they won’t measure up.
But consider what Ira Glass says in his classic: “The Gap”
“All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But… for the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.”
For the first couple of years he says.
Let’s all accept the likely fact here – you are probably not a creative genius. That’s cool. Neither am I.
This means you’ll have to create what feels like a mountain of garbage before getting to the good stuff.
It’s okay to be terrible. It’s not okay be nothing.It's okay to be terrible. It's not okay be nothing. Click To Tweet
On Fear of Being Public
I don’t feel like I’ve had that much trouble with this one (wait, isn’t that something we online writers aren’t supposed to say???), but that could be because I am a raging narcissist.
I love seeing my name on things. I love seeing it in print. I love seeing it on a book cover. I love seeing it at the top of this website. I love seeing it on a slide deck before I give a talk.
But I’m told by people much less obnoxious than myself that putting your name on something can be scary if you’re not ready for it.
Here’s the thing, though – if you want to be an Artist that makes things which live outside of your secret notebook you thought nobody knew about, you must ship. You must post. You must publish.
The regret which comes from never trying will trump any actual negatives which come with giving it your all. I promise. It’s a lot easier to be a could-have-been than a has-been.
It’s time for you to put your stake in the universe.
On Fear of Running Dry
When you create, when you dance with the Muse on the highest level, you are tapping into an indestructible source.
Ideas never end. Never ever ever. They morph, they change, they move and breathe. Ideas are simply the combination of existing things.
Plato says there’s a different plane of existence where all ideas come from, but I don’t know if it’s that simple. I do think, however, that there’s a body of work being created from the whole human race. Our art sets us apart.
Improvisation artists never know what they are going to say before they hit the stage. They just stand before a crowd with their fellow actors and give in to the body and mind. They give in to what is happening around them. They give in to yes.
Make no mistake – the Creator is a conduit, a door for beautiful and amazing and new things.
Start the work. The ideas will keep coming.
The act of creating something must be done without timidity. Go boldly into the work you know you can do because it’s not really about you after all.
It’s about contributing to a whole. It’s about contributing to a body of work which has existed since the dawn of man.
It’s about being fearless.