I Want You to Be Proud of Your Creations

I had a setback recently where I believed that nothing I did was good enough. I’d even started despising the thing I most enjoyed, my writing. Creating stories out of nothing. Creating art? Forget about it. There’s schools for people who are naturally gifted, and you? You’re not naturally gifted, so why bother?

I started believing my imagination was worthless because I’d never be the greatest at what I did. What’s the point if you want to reach the moon, but you find yourself in a gutter just gasping for air?

Anxiety. It’s a horrible, desperate, choking thing. Like weeds in a forest, just overrun by parasites that want to trip you up and keep you from seeing the greater things outside it.

I forgot these few simple truths.

It’s okay to not be okay.

It’s okay to not be the absolute best since day one. (Something you forget when you compare yourself to the best of the best and see yourself as a total failure if you don’t instantly become good at something).

It’s okay to need to work at something in order to perfect your craft. Think about it. You think experts in medieval times just stepped into a forge, started hammering at a piece of metal, and created a sword fit for royalty? NO! They spent years picking up tiny metal shavings and sweeping up straw in the backroom before they even LOOKED at a forge. It’s the same concept.

Before you make art, you’re going to make things that look like heaping piles of cow dung. There’s no bit of magic food to consume to make you suddenly perfect at something. The music isn’t going to suddenly swell and make you the Cinderella of the art world. Overnight sensations sell magazines, but they aren’t realistic. Even “overnight successes” spent years honing their craft before somebody picked up a pen or took a photograph and they went viral.

We all might want to be Mozart (who ALSO worked his ass off, though his fellow prodigy sister did just as much work but that’s another thing), but the reality is that talent looks a hell of a lot more like Whiplash (not to that extreme, but you get the picture). Becoming good at something is a gritty process. It requires all the sweat and tears and blood smeared across your practice kit.

For creating something truly beautiful, the process is extremely ugly. And that’s okay. I cringe looking back at the first stories I ever made. But they’re beautiful in their own way, you know? Life begetting life, even if it’s mangled or twisted or completely nonsensical.

To make anything in life, you’re going to have to fail.

But that doesn’t make you a failure. No. It makes you a doer. A try-er. Somebody who works because they love it.

I’m cheering for you. If you’re struggling. If you think you can’t do it. If others are telling you to not even try.



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