by David Finley
What are you afraid of?
Zombies, robot vampires, televangelists ... There are all sorts of things we enjoy being afraid of when we watch television and go to the movies. They make our real fears seem less imminent and more digestible. But, what about those common everyday fears?
Do you suffer from social anxieties? Are you afraid of putting yourself out there only to be laughed at? Or maybe you are afraid that you really aren't as creative as you thought you were; that your entire identity has been tied up in a lie.
Unfortunately, those fears will smother your creative spirit, bounding it in cold iron shackles and prison walls. Your creative identity can and will die in that prison unless you rescue it.
But, here's my confession: I'm afraid, too. Even as I write this, a choir of doubt sings a chorus of discord. I'm afraid that my words aren't connecting with you, and my writing isn't helping anyone. I'm afraid the original art I draw and post with all my articles will just be ignored. You think my art sucks. I'll never sell anything again. I'll run out of ideas.
You might feel that way, too. Yet, there is hope, and hope is a great and powerful thing. Hope grows wings, breaking your shackles and lifting you from the prison walls.
The Great Equalizer
A few years ago I came to realize just how much alike we all are. Everyone at some point has spent a night sitting on a toilet with tears streaming down his or her face, suffering the great and humiliating rigors of diarrhea, begging God to make it stop. I call it the great equalizer. It's the realization that eventually gave me the courage to ask my wife out when we first met. (by the way, my wife claims to have never experienced the great equalizer, but I am dubious)
It means no one else is any better than you. Whether it is Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, or John Lennon, the great equalizer affected them all, and like you and me, they struggled with doubt and anxiety, too.
Overcoming the Fear
Even after these realizations, you will still have fear, but my hope is you will work through your fear and persevere anyway. What you dream about can be achieved. It all starts one day at a time allowing failure and success to both wash over you. Failure just means you tried.
My fears have held me back in the past, but I refuse to let them hold me back anymore. I write this to you in spite of my doubts and I keep drawing in spite of the rejection that might be waiting out there. Believe me when I say I am definitely no better than you.
Now go chase your dreams, and let your creativity fly free.
Thanks for reading, Scofflaws!
-Dave, Grand Poobah of all Scofflaws