Dear Sam:

I have a question. The book that I want to write…I am wondering if it will be useful or if anyone would want to read it.

What do I do with this feeling of ‘who cares about your work, all the effort you put in is useless….’

If you could help I would be grateful.

Best,
A.

 

Dear A.,
Every single person throughout human history suffers from self-doubt, secretly believes they are a fraud and wonders if anyone will care about their work.

 

You are not alone.

In fact, your doubts may be part of what makes you an artist.  I’ve heard it said that only dilettantes and amateurs never doubt their talent.

And I’ve noticed that the more daring the creative idea, the more vicious and violent those critical inner voices can become.

So over time, I’ve learned this:

the louder & meaner the voices in my head are, the greater the probability that I’ve just had a really juicy idea.

Think of it this way: the voices in your head are trying to keep you safe. They don’t want you to put yourself in a vulnerable position. They try to scare you into inaction by telling you that no one will care about your work. Or worse, that people will judge you harshly.

But art is about making yourself vulnerable.

That’s kind of the point.

Or at least part of the point.

And let’s face facts – it’s possible that you will create something that other people don’t care for.

Fear of failure is entirely reasonable. But it’s no reason not to do your work.

As long as your work remains unwritten in your head, it has no effect on anyone. Except you. And then not in a good way.

Once you let your idea out of the hermetically sealed vault of your brain and out into the fresh air, the idea will immediately start to evolve. The minute you get it down on a piece of paper, it will change.

And then, once you let it out of the house – once someone else gets to experience it – then you are all changed.

You are changed.
The project is changed.
The audience is changed.

That’s the alchemy of art.

And here’s a real-life example:

Nedi, a 365 Club Member, worked with her son to compose a song about Autism. She finally got the courage to get it mastered, and she posted it online. She started getting emails and responses – including one from Kate Winslet’s Golden Hat foundation (http://www.goldenhatfoundation.org/) and now she’s created a Kickstarter Project to move the project into its next phase: http://kck.st/NBCsLo

Here’s what Nedi herself said:

Before three weeks ago, I thought to myself “Who cares if I do my 15 minutes?” But THEN a little voice said to me, “Samantha would care.”

So, on the off chance that the voice was right, and to keep myself on track: I will tell you that I completed 30 min. the first week, 60 the next, and since yesterday’s call – 90 min!

Much Gratitude and Affection,
NEDI

Inspiring, right?

 

Those critical voices will always be with you. I’ve never met an artist who didn’t struggle against them. Me included.

It’s up to you to decide if they get to run the show.

I can’t guarantee you that getting your work out there will always lead to success.
I can guarantee you that not getting your work out there will always lead to feelings of failure.

 

If you would like a very inexpensive way to get some additional encouragement and support, you might enjoy participating in the extremely groovy membership club I’ve started — we’re having a blast!

 

Please let me know how it goes for you.

 

Remember: The World Needs Your Art.