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Donley Between the Hay Bales
2 months ago · · Afraid ,
I want to create something for people to enjoy, but I don’t have the natural talent to do so without first learning how, and I lack the patience and self-motivation to take the time to learn the skills I would need. I don’t particularly care what form my creation would take. A drawing, a song, a painting, a poem, a documentary, an essay, a comedy sketch, a stand-up routine. I just want to make people smile when they see what I’ve made, and maybe carry that smile or maybe the thoughts that I provoked along with them after they’ve moved their attention elsewhere. But it’s hard to create something that powerful, and even harder to do it on the first try. Almost every single successful artist of any type will tell you that they had to persist through waves of critics and skeptics in order to accomplish their goals, fulfil their dreams. That’s terrifying to me. I can barely raise my hand in class because I’m afraid I’ll be mocked for a wrong answer; I can’t imagine releasing something I worked hard on, something so personal, vulnerable, and heartfelt, and having somebody tear me to shreds with it. I don’t think I’m strong enough to persist through that, to shrug it off and continue. I don’t even know if I’m strong enough to accept that someone might not like my creation in the first place. I want everyone to love what I’ve made, regardless of who they are or where they come from. But that’s not possible. Even if I do the impossible and create something that is universally adored and respected, I’d feel trapped trying to decide what to do next: disappoint people by quitting on top, or try to tackle insane prospect of duplicating the feat?
Recently I’ve actually made progress towards the first step, though. I’m calling it step 0.5: accepting that I’m starting from the beginning and will have to learn from somebody. Step 1 is accepting that people will judge me one way or the other so I might as well sign up for a lesson and get started, but that’s still in the distance for now. Until then, I’m stuck writing essays to myself that I hate and I hope nobody ever reads. I’m probably going to share them anyways.