Fuck your excuses. They’re safe. They’re a way for you to wrap your jaded sense of self in a warm blanket of cognitive dissonance. You can continue to justify whatever mumbo gumbo that you feel is holding you back by spitting out excuse after excuse. Or, you can learn from it, get to the steaming hot, rotten core of the opportunity (not problem), and change the way that you approach your art. Inspiration can’t be scheduled; you create it. I firmly state that by no means am I creating an imaginary authoritative pedestal attempting to arrogantly hand out my perception and knowledge as if you are somehow lacking. On the contrary, I am enthusiastically eager to see your greatness come to life. I am eager to watch that greatness transform your world. You can do this. Yes, you; the human being that stands in front of the mirror every single day while you dose yourself down continuously in a downward spiral of negative self-talk, limiting beliefs and self-destruction. You can choose to start walking down the long, tedious and at times wearisome road that will end up with you as a full-time artist, making a living doing what you love to do creating whatever you choose to create out there in this ever-changing and maddening world. Whether you’re a writer, photographer, painter, stripper, singer, 3D foam artist, musician, sculptor, mixed media artist, gardener, potter, knitter, iron worker, quilter, sculptor, pizza delivery driver, human being, or builder, the world is waiting with emboldened breath for you to display your gifts. What keeps you from your gift? What stands in the way from you offering your gift to the world? Here’s a new flash, Mr. or Miss. lackadaisical……You.
The tough love starts now. Trust me, I’ve had plenty of practice making feebleminded excuses. I know the excruciating pain of not engaging in or wholeheartedly plunging into an ambitious pursuit because I had a creative excuse. I recall spending days writing drawn out journal entries to myself expressing my unconscious beliefs that I was not good enough or slightly capable of sharing my estimable gift with the world. I spent years denying my gift, copping out and ignoring the inner call to art harder. I did not believe in myself. I did not believe in my art and I sure as hell did not have a strong will or heart to shield myself from the arrows flung my way by internet trolls and cynical, misanthropic foes. I was fucking miserable. I was gruelingly attached to a negative outcome and scenario I created in my mind of my life drowning akin to a massive cargo ship colliding with a container ship thirty miles east of shore rather than investing in my wellbeing and developing the habit of creating every single day.
Years, tears, and enough rejections to fill ten shoeboxes later, I learned to morph the inward fight into a matter of acceptance. I taught myself how to allow my jagged edges cut and sink into my skin as I developed a clearer understanding of my mental condition and perception of self. I acknowledged that I am a chamber of reflection and dissection who dives into the complexities of my being with equal parts keen constructive criticism and childlike curiosity. I envisioned my life as one of perpetual barefaced becoming, and removed the bitter encrustations of life experiences while integrating mighty revelations, large-scale maturity and the accumulation of vast wisdom. I began to bleed my heart and unique apperception into my art and every aspect of life I chose to involve and evolve myself in. I learned that I am a much better human being when I maximize my ability to shed light. I learned that I am continuously in a state of flux and began to understand that as an artist, I am passionately curious and my thirst will never be utterly quenched. I dove into the echoing thump of my vulnerable heart. I learned that I am worthy. To each their own; while human beings were sucking down the latest sugar-rimmed cocktail on the same bar stool they practically carved their name in each and every night, I studied the fundamentals of my craft. I set myself apart. I devised a system for developing my voice, read and studied the entire Oxford English Dictionary to further expand my vocabulary, and fucking wrote. I wrote about anything and everything I conjured up in my idiosyncratic mind. I created space for unconventional perception and extraordinary possibility. I learned that I had the ability to enrich the lives of an array of peculiar fishes in the sea by simply being me. And today, there is not a single day that has gone by in years in which I haven’t written a single line or dropped a clever line on a dime……
Discover and share your superpower with the world. Make your art a priority in your life. Persistence matters. Not giving up matters. There is no dream too big. For crying out loud, I am a fucking high school dropout without a formal education attempting to achieve great success as a journalist, earn a Pulitzer Prize before I die and write a New York Times Best Seller at one point throughout my lifetime. If you are naively unsure of your gifts and are under the assumption that you have nothing unique to offer to this world, your task requires more cunningness. Keep in mind that not knowing is just as exciting as knowing, as you have created an opportunity to embark on a wonderful adventure full of wonder, pain (real talk) and discovery. Fuck plan B; you’re on the A team. Burst your own bubble. Get stung, it’s worth the cost. Fail. You are not a basket case who will allow their talent go to waste. Paint a vivid picture of your inner view and cast light upon where you stand psychologically. Open up about what you are able to contribute philanthropically. Challenge your own thinking. Evolve from an insular mentality to a global appreciation. Teach. Nothing is out of reach. Last but certainly not least……..