Give it Away Now

There’s a river born to be a giver
Keep you warm won’t let you shiver
His heart is never gonna wither
Come on everybody time to deliver.

“Give it Away” RHCP

You’ve got to give what’s in you.

Don’t know what’s in you? Think you have 100% nothing to give?

That’s a lie from hell.

And I’m 100% serious.

You’ve got something in you. It’s something that’s begging to get out.

The words you’re reading right now might make you itch. Not the scratchable kind. An itch in your gut. In that place where it aches when something sad or beautiful happens.

It’s the call to something else. It’s the call to stop the status quo.

Do You Feel It?

If you do, you’re in good company.

 

Fighting with Ghosts

I haven’t watched Fight Club in many years, but I found this dialog on imdb.com and it’s befitting:

Narrator: [Tyler steers the car into the opposite lane and accelerates] What are you doing?
Tyler Durden: Guys, what would you wish you’d done before you died?
Ricky: Paint a self-portrait.
The Mechanic: Build a house.
Tyler Durden: [to Narrator] And you?
Narrator: I don’t know. Turn the wheel now, come on!
Tyler Durden: You have to know the answer to this question! If you died right now, how would you feel about your life?
Narrator: I don’t know, I wouldn’t feel anything good about my life, is that what you want to hear me say? Fine. Come on!
Tyler Durden: Not good enough.

Tyler Durden is a coach for creatives. He’s screaming a wake-up call to the meanderers. He wants us to know what we really want. He’s shouting a fill in the blank to us:

Finish this sentence:  I’ve got something to give.  I’m afraid to make it happen because                                            .

That thing you just filled in the blank… whatever that thing is isn’t actually real.

It’s a ghost. A mirage. A phantom of your creativity. It’s not only stealing from you, it’s stealing from us.

We need what you have to give.

 

Give Your Creativity Away

This post has an edge to it. It’s purposeful.

I’ve said that to not create is selfish. The fear of sharing handicaps the creative process.

  • “But I create for myself.”
    • Great, start with yourself. But you only get to keep what you give away.
  • “But I might look like a fool.”
    • For how long? Is that the worst thing?
  • “But I’m insane.”
    • Most great artists have a healthy dose of ‘crazy’ in there. Use it.
  • “But I failed before.”
    • Keep failing.
  • “But I might lose everything.”
    • What if you do? What if you don’t?

Please, can we all make a pact to stop living with regrets.

I won’t be apologetic for the brazen preachiness of this post because I’m obeying a voice. Some call it a ‘muse.’ Some call it ‘self.’ Some call it ‘God.’ Whatever you call it, you’ve got that voice speaking to you as well.

What’s that voice saying?

For me, it calls to my senses. To really see. To savor the taste of life. To touch.

It’s telling us to feel. It’s telling us to help those who’ve gone numb. To help them feel again.

You’re a river. You’ve got to flow.

There’s a river born to be a giver
Keep you warm won’t let you shiver
His heart is never gonna wither
Come on everybody time to deliver.

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Author: Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

  • I’m usually pretty sure that I’m making a fool of myself. I create because I feel a need to and I put it out there. Who wants to put all that work into something just to have it collect dust? In answer to the excuse, “But I failed before” I say that failure is practice for success.

    Great post!

    • Ken

      Me likey! A favorite author calls those who live in fear “false prophets”, always predicting things that never come to pass. I’d love for my fear of failing to be eclipsed by a bigger fear: not trying.

      • Andrew Zahn

        That’s healthy fear. Me likey too!

    • Andrew Zahn

      Let’s all fail together! There’s gold in dem dere failings!

  • Dan

    Great post.

    • Andrew Zahn

      Thanks for dropping by Dan!

  • “And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom.” — Anais Nin

    (my fave quote from high school)

    • Andrew Zahn

      It IS painful to not share. To not contribute!

      I like that quote!

    • What a great quote. I’m adding it to my files.

  • Very catchy Gaither Vocal Band song:

    There are two kind of folks,
    There’s takers and givers.
    There’s gripers and complainers
    and bighearted livers.
    It depends on how we choose
    to spend our days.

    If you want more happy
    than your heart will hold,
    If you want to stand taller,
    if the truth were told,
    take whatever you have
    and give it away.

    Yes, I am a closet southern gospel lover. I apologize in advance. But go ahead. Try and listen and not tap your foot. 🙂 Good stuff, Andrew!

    http://youtu.be/_tm0E-E38UU

    • Andrew Zahn

      I started tap dancin’!

      I guess you’re not a closeted southern gospel lover anymore.

  • I’ve been blogging for just over 3 years now. It’s just been in the last 9 months that I’ve realized that blogging is not about me. It’s also taken me this long to find my voice and to some point who I am.

    • That’s a comforting time frame. I’ve been at it for 5 months and have been very impatient in finding my voice. Or, others finding it!

      Stopping to think that it’s not about me has been helpful. And awakening. It takes pressure off yourself.

    • Andrew Zahn

      It’s a lesson we all need to relearn every time we sit down to write.

      I totally hear ya!

    • Larry,
      you have truly fond your voice. I think once we figure out blogging is not about us then we can truly start to impact others.

  • To finish MY sentence, I’m afraid because I may fail.
    I didn’t realize how weak it makes me sound untl I typed it out.
    That’s lame.
    Me being afraid to fail is me failing myself.
    Awesome post, man.

    • I decided to strike out on my own this year and leave my comfortable day gig. Granted I can do fine as a free lance consultant in my given industry while growing my arts-related ambitions, but even so the fear of failure nearly paralyzed me during the transition. Panic attacks? Waking up in cold sweats? All of it and more. Every step has been easier and more exciting, but I’d get it if I never would have taken the first step. That fear can paralyze anyone. It’s rather remarkable. and nobody can really convince you that you’ll make it but yourself. They can encourage and suggest but not convince.

  • I think the fill-in-the-blank for me is “because I have bills to pay”, or “because I’ll have so much opposition”… I appreciate the challenge. To be able to name what stands in the way is crucial for me! Thanks for helping us process that.

  • Rhonda

    Amen! Good preachin’!

    • Andrew Zahn

      It was kind of a little motivational sermon! Thanks for reading Rhonda.

  • What a great post. If we create and give it away then our life will have purpose. To me it tells me to create more and start sharing more, this is why I have started writing an eBook.

    • Andrew Zahn

      Fantastic! Can’t wait for your e-book to come out Dan.