It might not seem like creativity takes courage.
After all, your life isn’t in danger when it comes to creativity (at least for some of us). And for most of us, getting creative is an enjoyable activity.
However, to share your creativity to the world and put yourself out there takes tremendous courage. It take somebody who has dedication, determination, and most importantly, bravery.
But how do you remain courageous amidst all of the doubts, fears, and naysayers that jump out at every corner? How do you hold onto your faith when the expectations seem hopeless? And how do you keep marching on with your head up high?
There’s many different ways to deal with fear that I’m sure you’ll find on your own pathway to creativity. In the meanwhile here’s some of my own that I’ve learned along my own journey.
1. You’ll never be a true master: While you can be a master at whatever you do eventually, you’ll never have true mastery over something. Which isn’t to sound depressing but rather, uplifting. Because you no longer have to worry and wait until you know how to do everything perfectly. And besides, I think the journey is much more fun when there’s always something new to learn.
2. Stay cool, stay classy: I think this is one of the most important rules and one that I have fortunately followed most of the time. No matter what the critics, haters, and criticizers say, remain calm and collective. If you feel angry or depressed about it, feel that way in your own privacy. But whatever you do, don’t explode out in the public. It can only create more drama. By having class and character, it gains you respect in the end, regardless of what the other said. [Note: You can argue back if you need to. Just make sure that your rebuttal is calm, collected, and cool.
3. You’ve got nowhere to go but up: One of my writing heroes is Stephen J. Cannell. Not because he was born a genius. But rather, he grew up with the notion that he was talentless and not a genius due to his dyslexia. But you know what? It made him a writer. Because he realized that if he was the “worst” writer, then he had nowhere to go but up. And that’s what you have to realize too. That no matter where you currently are at, you have nowhere to go but further on up.
4. Take it with a grain of salt: Don’t let it get to your head, good or bad. If someone gives you a bad review, laugh about it. If someone praises you, nod your head and leave it at that. Because not taking yourself too seriously will keep you from being arrogant and it will also keep you from having a self-depreciating attitude.
5. Love the future, don’t hate it: The future can be a scary place. It’s an area of great expectations but also of great uncertainty. But not knowing what’s in store makes it exciting. Because who knows, perhaps you’ll stumble upon something far beyond your wildest goals. I’m not sure if I’ll achieve my goal to be an author who can make a living at it. But the journey so far has brought me plenty of wonderful surprises and lessons. And I’d rather be open to whatever comes next, then be bitter over not knowing if I’ll achieve my goals or not.
6. The worst that can happen, isn’t the worst that can happen: Imagine the worst that can come out of creativity. Everyone thinks your book is unreadable, your art is an eyesore, or you can’t play a decent chord. You stand there in front of everyone as they laugh and throw tomatoes at you. Now is that bad? Of course it is. You might live like a depressed hermit for a while. But is that the worst that can happen? Are you lying in a hospital bed or jail? No. Don’t get me wrong. If you don’t feel ready yet, practice your craft. But otherwise, try to remember that the worst that could happen isn’t really the absolute worst.
7: You’re never the worst: Just like taking everything with a grain of salt, it’s also important to remember that while you might not be the best at what you do, you’re probably not the worst either. If you have passion and you’re practicing at it, trust me, there’s someone far worse at it than you are.
Rising above your creative fears is not always an easy thing to do. As I prepare to release my own novel Drift on December 10th, it feels like I’m going to need more courage than I ever had before. But you know what? You don’t have to be a hero to feel invincible. All you need, is just a little courage.
Andrew Cyrus Hudson is a writer as well as a reviewer for ComicAttack.net . Originally from the San Bernardino Mountains in CA, Andrew Hudson now resides in the San Fernando Valley and is planning to move to wherever life takes him next. Along with working hard on getting the word out for Drift (coming out on December 10th, 2011), a mainstream fiction novel mixed in with some elements of horror and even mystery; he’s also writing Strange Happenings, a science-fiction anthology coming out Summer of 2011 and revising Poem for the Wolves, an epic science-fiction novel about relationships, poetry…and explosions.