For almost two years now, people have paid me to write for them. In the past year, I went strictly freelance and in doing so, my paid writing work picked up.
I feel very fortunate.
Actually, most of the time, I feel completely bewildered.
Every day I envision a Russian totalitarian figure a la propagandic style standing tall amongst a backdrop of fire, pointing a giant forefinger at me and shouting, “YOU are obsolete! YOU have no idea what you are doing!”; a fleet of angular soldiers in perfect unison come to whisk me away and save humanity from the disease known as my poor prose.
I’m still not exactly sure where semicolons go and you will never see me use a word like “perfunctory” in a sentence. I’m not even sure what that means. Granted, I DON’T HAVE AN EDITOR TO FIX MY MISTAKES!
This is an insecurity I mostly keep to myself because, well, nothing is more unattractive than an unconfident person.
Look at Prince. You think he’s sexy, right? RIGHT?! It’s okay, we’re all friends here. You know why you think he’s sexy? Because though he’s bite-sized, he has the confidence of an anaconda. You’d be hard-pressed to spot Prince in a crowd, but his ego and aura are taller than a Redwood tree.
It’s true that you don’t get jobs by running around, screaming, “OH MY GOD! DO I KNOW WHAT THE HELL I’M DOING? TELL ME!!!!111111!!!!!!11111″
The times I do share my concerns with friends, they remind me that is all part of the game: if you work in a creative field, the majority of the time you are a basket case of nerves, self-doubt and alcoholism.
If you’re reading this, chances are you are a creative person too.
You may be a blogger yourself, or a writer, an artist, a filmmaker, a craft-maker, a photographer, a DIYer, a web creator, a clothing designer, or a graphic artist.
You may make your living in a creative field or maybe you create on your own time, for you, for your family, or for the world.
Either way, you know it’s something you have to do. Whether it be every day, every week, or a few times a year, creating is what gets you up in the morning and gives you purpose. It’s essential to your sanity and your well-being. It prevents you from becoming your father and coming home after a long day at work to the only comforts in life: a bottle of whiskey and a plush recliner.
Because art is so important to you, it’s imperative that you do not let self-doubt use your creative balls as a punching bag.
Below are some mantras I try to remind myself on a daily basis when uncertainty rears its butt-ugly face.
I hope you find them helpful!
1. Don’t compare yourself to others.
2. Remember what Mom always said, “Don’t compare yourself to others!”
3. Comparing yourself to others is for wussies!
4. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS!
5. You little shit, are you comparing yourself to others right now?
6. Is that comparing yourself to others I smell?
7. You reek of comparing yourself to others, you nasty turd!
8. Comparing yourself to others is Satan’s work.
9. Listen to me very carefully, you personified piece of human excrement, if you compare yourself to others one more time, I will stick a whoopee cushion up your ass.
10. Only compare yourself to Prince and then try to BECOME Prince.