[box options]Side note… Today I’m guest posting on Michael Perkins’ amazingly creative blog The Handwritten. You’ll want to check out Michael’s take on simple, honest blogging. It’s like eating decadent desert without the calories. [/box]
There’s a secret to joining a creative community.
“I don’t like the word ‘community.’ Sounds needy and I’ve had enough of co-dependency,” you may say.
“I’m an artist, Andrew. I lock myself away in a room and think about my feelings for hours on end. I’m just fine without a creative community.”
“I’m not comfortable calling myself ‘creative,’ so how would I fit in with people who really are creative?”
Who is that talking?
What is keeping you from connecting?
Why do you feel the opposition to connecting with other creatives?
$%#*@ that stupid fear. Kick it in the nostril. Send it packing back to the land of illusion, pretend and lies.
Moving Beyond Fear
Fear always keeps us from connecting. It always whispers lies (like those above).
You can count on fear to be a nice little surrogate community, but surrogates are not the real thing.
Fear moves in, takes hold and secretly tells us that it is our best friend. It’s a liar. Don’t befriend this dude. He’s out to eat you and your lunch and he’ll tell you you’ll be happier if you let him do it.
Trouble is, sometimes fear is such a part of us that we don’t even recognize him, but it’s simple.
It’s the voice that keeps telling you ‘no.’
One Minute Test
Just fill in the blanks…
I’m afraid of and that fear has helped me .
- I’m afraid of asking my boss for a raise and that fear has helped me make what I’ve been making for the past three years.
- I’m afraid of writing a novel and that fear has helped me talk about writing a novel rather than writing a novel.
- I’m afraid of letting go of fear because it lets me make excuses and I’d rather make excuses than deal with my fear and that fear has helped me make excuses instead of creating.
Seeing the payoff (rather, the lack thereof) fear provides should make you angry.
It’s called ‘righteous indignation.’ The feeling is similar to suddenly realizing you’ve been imprisoned for the past X years and didn’t know it. But the prison cell of fear is made with rubber bars. It’s very easy to get out if you see fear for what it is: an illusion.
Rinse and repeat this fill-in-the-blank exercise as often as needed.
Join the Community
When fear is brought into the light it withers like the wicked witch of the west under a dousing of water.
Now connecting is as natural as the breathing you’ve done unconsciously while reading this post for the last two minutes.
+Follow someone from the comments here: writers, designers, story tellers, moms, dads, podcasters you name it. They’re creatives just like you and they’ll be glad to encourage you.
+Make a coffee date in the next ten minutes to talk to someone interesting. Stay away from commiserators.
+Post a comment below to continue the conversation happening here on Creatives. It’s exciting to see people coming out of the woodwork.