I realised something yesterday.
I have not been listening to what I’ve been telling myself. Not properly.
I tell myself all the time that it is okay to try things out of curiosity, that it is good to have a beginner’s mindset and accept that you will not be amazing at something first try (or ever for that matter). I repeat to myself that showing up is what is important. So I have played around: with photography and video making, styling, etc. I have been playing to just do and not over think.
…but I haven’t really been paying attention to that in one aspect of my creative life.
This is in the hobbies I used to have. Things I used to do but I haven’t been there in a while. This is where I still have these expectations of how I feel I should be performing.
I have this with writing.
I used to write, all the time. I remember when I never really understood people that spoke about writer’s block because when I was younger the stories were there constantly. I didn’t write “well” but I wrote.
I wrote and I wrote, and I got better in different ways. There was a time when writing came, not easily, but naturally. It flowed and I worked happily at it and ideas came to me.
Now I don’t feel that way and it has made me reluctant to start. Because I know it’s not going to feel like it did before and that scares me.
I’ll read over old stories I’ve written and be sort of amazed that I even wrote that. I’ll look at the sentence structure and the flow and think was that really me? and so I’ve put off writing, creative writing that is, because I think part of me has been scared. Scared that I’ll be disappointed with the result.
So instead I read and I think and I tell myself I don’t have time to write because, you know, xyz.
I have been throwing myself into all these other things because it’s easier to start from the beginning. It’s easier to go through that initial learning curve because it is where I have the least expectations of myself. But then I exhaust myself doing all of those things, instead of what I really want to be doing.
Because the truth is: those other things are just not as important to me.
The things I care about the most, are the things I’m most scared of doing.
Not because I’m scared to share it and it won’t be well-received (even though there is some of that too), it’s more that I don’t want to have to sit with what I’m writing and feel like it isn’t good enough.
But I’d rather be writing things that don’t seem good enough than nothing at all. And know that the things that are important to me need to be prioritised, even if it’s scary.
I just need to remember that sometimes.