Mental illness is crazy

No really, it is.

Just now, I realized something that I have come close to realizing before but never quite put all the pieces together before now.

And that is that I (like lots of other brainy creative types going nowhere) have been waiting for some kind of outside validation for my work and my talent while at the same time doing absolutely nothing that would get me said validation.

Like I am waiting for the world to make the first move.

And that’s obviously ludicrous. The world can’t make the first move if it doesn’t even know you exist. You have to do something to attract attention to your work, even if it’s just asking friends to link to it.

But a lot of us brainy creative types are, like me, cripplingly shy. For us, the idea of self-promotion is a nonstarter. Daring to point at your own work and say “Check out this awesome thing I did!” (or at least, “hey, this might be worth your attention”) is inimical to the shy temperament, whick is all about avoiding attention.

Ironically (and tragically), a lot of the really good writers (and other creators) in the world have that exact temperament and thus do not end up using their considerable talents to enrich the world and themselves.

Which brings us back to me.

Clearly, I have this exact sort of short-circuit in my brain. It’s a conflict between wanting to hide away from the world  and wanting to get paid to create.

And it’s a pretty big deal for me. It’s the primary conflict that is keeping me from going forward. My shyness and/or social anxiety is so strong that it keeps me from breaking cover and thus exposing my fragile ego to the world for even the tiny amount of time it takes to send a PDF somewhere.

And why I try, I suddenly bcome acutely aware of how sloppy and slap-dash my work is and how I would be embarrassed to have anyone see it, and so I can’t send it out until I clean it up, and that’s never going to happen, so…. once more, I keep myself in check.

In the chess sense of the word.

Luckily, I at least have a countervaling force within me, because shy as I am,  I also have a said that is a big ham who wants all the attention and is cocky and confident and ready to knock’m dead with my wit and charm and charisma at any moment.

So at least it’s not a matter of having to develop a whole new persona from scratch in order to get past this roadblock.

I just need to get rid of the bullshit that is clogging its connection to the rest of my personality, and let that self-satisfied son of a bitch take over sometimes.

I mean, what the hell. What’s thje worst that can happen?People think I am obnoxious? I can live with that. My cockiness makes people want to challenge me and take me down a peg? Bring it. I’m not easy to defeat, and could use the pushback in order that my skills and strength might increase. I piss some people off? Oh well. I am sure I won’t wreck their lives with my antics and people bounce back from that kind of thing.

It’s not like that side of me is a raging arsehole. He’s just willing to be loud and use my very powerful presence to make people notice me and give me a chance to impress them with my talents.

Sure, that comes with a huge ego. And those make some people uncomfortable because they think that if I think highly of myself, I must think less of them. Or, more simply, that the negative emotions like jealousy and a feeling of inferiority that I inspire in them are somehow my fault.

Fuck that. I refuse to own that shit. That’s their damage, not mine. I am not going to bend over backwards to protect people from my amazing awesomeness any more.

In that, sense, I am willing to give up on the whole “nice guy” thing. I will still be a super nice person, just not at the expense of my ability to strive forward in life.

So look the fuck out, world. I am coming through. One way or another.

Again,. I will still be the sweet, sensitive, undertstanding fellow that I am right now. Just at a higher volume and in vivid Technicolor.

I am sure letting my ego make decisions will seem unwise. Imprudent, even. But whatever. There is great wisdom in trying hard and making mistakes rather than holding back and making no mistakes because you don’t do anything.

There are worse then in life than being wrong. I can see that now.

And by extension, there are worse things in life than failure too.

In fact, all the evidence points to success coming from being willing to fail over and over and over again until you make it. Whether it’s business tycoon who got rich from the sixth business, or the movie star who waited tables and lived in their car for five years before they landed their first movie role, or the famous writer like J. K. Rowling who got rejected by every single other publisher before finding the one to take a chance with her, the number one rule of success is failure tolerance.

In that sense, every rejection is a step towards success.

I suppose the fear that lurks within the, shall we say, retentive artists’ soul is that they will find out that they suck at the art they practice and their whole world will fall apart when their artistic dreams die.

But that’s rigging the game against yourself.

Sucking at somethin is not permanent.  

It is, in fact, the larval stage of all greatness. Natural talent is great, but you still have to produce an awful lot of art that is nowhere near as good as youir favorite creators before you can approach their skill level.

After all, that’s what they did. The art you know, whether it’s a painting or a TV show, is the best product of people who have been at it for years.

And when they started out, they sucked just as much as you do.

Maybe even more!

I switched to the second person again, didn’t you? I mean, I?

Oh well. Guess I suck too, then.

But I still going to keep on trying.

And God as my witness, I will expose myself to the world.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.