That's the sound of me exhaling. That noise came rushing out after I made myself lie on the floor and ask myself what exactly was wrong with me. I've made a ton of excuses; some legitimate, some just legitimate sounding. And perhaps I've convinced some people and at times have even convinced myself that I just didn't have time to commit to things or why I have been having writer's block. Is it a lie if you believe it? I have never quite been able to
What I'm talking about is being creative. Right now in this moment I feel better about writing than I have in months which is why I'm not even going to edit this. After writing things out in my journal, I discovered some things that I didn't know about myself until just a few minutes ago. For one,deadlines freak me out. I don't think I am that wild of a free spirit to be so freaked out but some where along the way I started to let things freak me out. What was once for the love became...a huge responsibility. One of my downfalls is that I can be a fight or flight type person. What I have found is that a lot of times procrastination is not about laziness. Procrastination is often about overwhelming fear. Why am I so scared?
Most of my friends are creative people. A good number of them are musicians. One talk I have had with them repeatedly is that when they get to the point where they don't enjoy their own art and it becomes a chore, they need to fall back and discover what the problem is. I have a friend named Mike who has so much joy on his face when he plays his music that I often think to myself while watching him that if one does not have that much satisfaction when they perform their music, they may want to rethink why they are even a musician in the first place. Artistic expression is not always joyful but I believe it should lead to satisfaction. Even if what you are expressing is difficult. I fully believe that it should be a release for the creator first. And right now I feel that. I mean, I have been frightened to write and how did I even start to come to these conclusions? By writing. Some musicians are the same way. They'll write a song to figure out why they can't write a song. I truly believe that your gifts are for you to use for yourself first.
This is not the only blog I write for but it is the first. If I can't be real here then I just shouldn't write at all. I just don't feel like I have been real about the fears I am having in wanting to create things. I have mentioned it but I admit that even the way I mentioned it was entirely too calculated. I am so freaked out that if I have to commit to one more thing, even it's just mentally, I'm not going anywhere but to work. I have shows I want to create. I have books and programs that I want to create. Up until now I didn't realize that a lot of my apprehension has had to do with the fact that I have been holding myself back in fear of being up front and not fitting a mold. It used to be if I created something and a few people saw it, then cool. It didn't matter if it was one or one hundred. But somewhere along the way I started becoming freaked out by people's expectations. I may be the only person that is freaked out by compliments sometimes and I know that is because of my fear of success which I always felt boils down to a fear of failure. A lot of times that is because I feel like it will be entirely up to me and me alone to keep things afloat and to keep everybody smiling. What I am learning is that it's not entirely on my shoulders and I'm not alone.
Case and point, I was really struggling with something Friday. I prayed all day about it. I screamed at the top of my lungs in my car out of total irreverence only to come upstairs to my room and lay on the floor in complete reverence. And as I went through the motions of it all a revelation came to my mind that I am very prideful. I have been guilty of praying AT God versus praying to God. See when you pray AT God, you think that the way you pray is going to get results. Not because God is going to give you what you need but because of how you prayed for it. That's treating God like a magic lamp; as if to say "If I try two rubs to the right and then one to the left, maybe I can get results." Then you could say that it was your technique that got things done. I was completely on the edge until I simply said, "I need you. I can't do this." I slept for 13 hours after that. 13 hours!
So what do I do to resolve this freaking out? I am going to create and I am going to enjoy it. If people dig it, they dig it. We rob ourselves of expression because we fear it doesn't fit a mold sometimes. Believe it or not I am a big fan of interior designer Christopher Lowell. Not because of his talent for designing but because of how he sees creativity. I heard him say once "Where there is fear, there is no creativity." He also says that in our society we often confuse creativity with talent. Every single person, left-brained or right-brained, is creative. How many of us don't express our creativity because we feel that we are not good enough? Like if it isn't good enough to be sold or marketable, we shouldn't even try. Your creativity is an expression of yourself. It is for you first. Not every creative person needs to or even should make money on how they choose to express themselves. Creativity is not about that and we rob ourselves greatly when we don't express that gift.
I'm not saying to not have structure but by all means don't lose yourself. I've been struggling with shooting this web series, or practicing for it rather because I feel like I really don't know what to do. I am constantly looking for more videos and reading articles to get better. I'm not saying don't study your craft. That's important. But if you want to do it because it's your creative outlet then just do it. Don't worry about the mold. Express yourself whether it's through music or mathematics. Be the best you can be at it but more importantly be the best YOU that you can be at it. Leave the comparisons behind. You'll never know how great you can be if you don't try. Scratch that. It's not even about being "great". It's about being fulfilled and satisfied. If others love it, then great- but do it for you.