I don’t know about you but every time I try something creative I’m always so pumped about doing it. I love it so much that it’s all I can think about even when I’m not doing it. When I first started to crochet I could knock out a blanket every couple of weeks because you just couldn’t tear me away from it.
However, what I have found over time is that if I enjoy doing something that is creative I will always be terrified to share it. And this is particularly so when it comes to friends and people who know me in any way, shape or form. It’s got me thinking about why this might be the case and whether or not this is something that it’s possible to overcome. The fear that somebody will see my work is crippling and I’m sure that it’s put an end to several creative pursuits that I have enjoyed over the years.
This is really sad because I am left wondering if I could have done something exciting with any of these projects. Would my life have been any more full and rewarding if I had just fought past that fear that stood in my way? I was recently watching an interview with the jewellery designer, Kendra Scott, and her story reads like a fairy tale. She started making her pieces in her bedroom and now she has a multi million dollar business. What would have happened if she had decided to not go public with her ideas? She would still be in her bedroom making necklaces and dreaming about what could have been; that’s what!
I love to write and I’ve managed to self publish a couple of novels but the idea of actually advertising them makes my very soul feel like it’s dying. And the reason is because I’m scared of the reaction I’m going to get, particularly from the people I know. Because being creative involves baring your soul, even if it is just the tiniest little bit. Even with the crocheted blankets, I chose the colours and the design and if somebody says something bad about it, it feels like an attack on some of the very things that make me ‘me’.
And then when you write a novel it feels like you’re turning the intensity up a notch because you are writing about things that normally only live in your head. You write about the way you feel personally and the way that you would react in a situation through your characters. If somebody you respect then goes and laughs at it, you may as well get punched in the stomach; it sucks the air out of your body the pain is so intense.
I’m a sensitive soul by nature, so I know that there are going to be some out there who would tell me to grow a pair. If I really think that my work is any good then it shouldn’t matter. I envy these people who can breeze through life without giving a fuck. I wonder what it’s like to put yourself out there without worrying even a little bit? I wonder where I could go and what I could do if I didn’t have to brace myself for a bad comment and then have to cry for an hour when it does come? I wonder if I am actually any good at anything, because up until now I’ve been too scared to push anything for fear of upsetting someone, or irritating them, or being laughed at, or being talked about behind my back. The list could go on and on as to why I don’t try and be more ‘out there’.
So I think that my take away from this post is that I’m going to try a bit harder. I have to remember that I’m the one that has put pen to paper and written a whole fucking book or drawn a great picture or launched a blog or started a YouTube channel. I should be proud of that and not need to validate my self worth based on what somebody else thinks. And I’m going to be a bit more outgoing with this kind of thing. I’d like to think that I have things that I can share that are beautiful and helpful to others, so why wouldn’t I tell people I know about them?
And there is also the flip side to this argument. I think that we all need to be a little nicer to people making that first step and showing the world what they have made. We should all be appreciative that they’ve tried and we should be respectful and kind. I’ve seen some creations that friends have made and posted on their social media and I’ve thought that it’s bloody awful but I wouldn’t dream of writing a comment to that effect. Firstly, because it’s not nice and it will knock their confidence and secondly, because art is subjective and my opinion is just an opinion. If I go and start mouthing off what I think it could stop that person from ever creating and sharing again. And yet there could be a whole section of the world that would love it, and I would be robbing those people of the enjoyment of it.
We need to lift creators up because they are the people that are pushing us all forward. Most of the people who are stamping on your work are the type who lack self confidence anyway. They could only dream of having the talent to create and then the nerve to share and by belittling you they are making themselves feel better about that.
I do need to remember though, that nine times out of ten, the hate will never come. I think that it’s going to come because I’m lacking in confidence but most people who have any self respect won’t go slagging me off because I’ve given something a go. The sensible part of my brain knows that it’s the dickhead part of my brain that’s running riot. So I am just going to tell myself next time I’m worried they’ll laugh, that I need to just do it anyway. The more that I do it the less the fear will grip me and then, when the fear is gone, I doubt that there will be any holding me back.
Much love and have a beautiful day,