I had a really interesting chat with a friend recently.
While on the surface the conversation was basically my friend having a tongue-in-cheek go at a recent article I had written here (the crux being that I had accidentally misspelled a word – the horror!), there was something underlying her comments that reinforced why many people never create anything.
And that simple reason is…
In this case (eg. writing), the fear was clearly, What will people think of me?!
If I write and publish an article, and it contains a typo or a misspelled word, will people think I’m an idiot? Will I get people writing to me to point that out?
What if I write something that people don’t agree with?
What if I reveal things about myself that people might not like? What if they think I’m a know-it-all wanker? What if they think I’m naive about life?
These are the very thoughts I could easily have while writing here. And if I focussed too much on them, I guarantee you that I would no longer be writing here. The fear would just be too much.
And the same applies to virtually every other creative medium.
What will people think of your art? Your music? Your poetry and stories?
What will people THINK of YOU?!
But, you know what…?
You’re not writing or creating for “them” (an undefined mass audience).
You’re ultimately writing for YOU, and for people LIKE YOU (although perhaps at different stages along their own life journey).
You’re writing or creating because that’s what your mind and body wants you to do. You’re not doing it to impress others. If you are, then you’re creating for the wrong reasons.
Besides, as the saying goes, trying to please everyone ultimately pleases no one (including yourself).