The following is a sneak peek of my book, Get the Hell Over It: How to Let Go of Fear and Realize Your Creative Dream (Weenie-Proofing the Artistic Brain). I’m ADDICTED to talking about the subject of fear, because it’s what kept me from my dreams for so long … and what I’m betting is keeping you from yours too.
So stop giving in to it. (You need to save your “giving in” for donuts, after all.)
Here is a quick look at how fear of creative pursuits is harshing your barge … and a window into how to fix it.
From the preface:
If you’re holding this book in your hand – or, more likely, if your Kindle is holding it in its little electronic brain – then you’re probably afraid. Not of plane crashes or zombies or aliens or a Kindle uprising (although I am most assuredly afraid of all of those things), but of creativity. Making. Doing. Sharing. Selling.
The whole awesome, icky shebang that constitutes living and working as a creative in today’s ever-shrinking digital world.
If you’re like me, you find this simultaneously freeing and terrifying. Everyone will see everything I do! you crow. On the other hand … EVERYONE WILL SEE EVERYTHING I DO.
Because it cuts both ways, right? The internet, social media, telecommuting – these newfangled developments make it easier than ever to get your dreams out there. But at the same time, it is also easier than ever to make a misstep or commit a faux pas or fail spectacularly … in front of everyone.
Believe me, I know. I’ve done it again and again and again. And again. And also that one other time. Oh, and yesterday.
… I’ve done it a lot. Let’s just leave it at that.
But no one died, not any of those times. I mean, maybe a little bit of my soul. I’ll admit that’s happened once or twice. But real death? The kind with funerals? Nada.
The fear lives on, though, doesn’t it?
Maria Popova put it best in Brain Pickings: “‘Creativity is like chasing chickens,’ Christoph Niemann once said. But sometimes it can feel like being chased by chickens – giant, angry, menacing chickens. Whether you’re a writer, designer, artist or maker of anything in any medium, you know the creative process can be plagued by fear, often so paralyzing it makes it hard to actually create.”
Admit it, this has happened to you. Instead of making that sweet, sweet music (or art or literature or sculpture or whatever), you’re hunkered in your room, eating your kids’ fruit snacks and trying to pretend the chickens aren’t there.
But they are. Oh, the chickens are.
The good news is this: You get to choose what to do about it. Obviously, given the title of this hurrr book, I think you should do something badass, like tell fear to kiss off. Fo-evah.
But just how are we going to do that? you’re wondering.
Good question. I like questions. Keep ‘em coming.
The answer? Well, the title says it all, really:
Get the Hell Over It: How to Let Go of Fear and Realize Your Creative Dream
Fear of what others will think, combined with the pressure to do something “normal” or “safe” with our lives, has taken many a creative down. We worry. We fret. We tiptoe toward our latest brainchild, then shy away, leaving it sad and alone in the dark.
Without any fruit snacks, even.
We’re gonna get you over that, with a combination support system and toolbox for moving past the creative fears that are blocking your ability to realize your passions.
See, the main problem with beginning any creative project is that it has so many moving parts the whole thing becomes paralyzing. Instead of taking a methodical step-by-step approach that proceeds from idea to tools to mastery, we begin to flail, trying one halfhearted tactic after another. When they fail over and over, like the world’s saddest line of dominoes … we give up. Because, we figure, that’s it.
We just can’t do it.
Someone fetch the cheese dip … let’s get this pity party started!
But, come on. That’s really no fun at all. So here’s your alternative: a handy, down-to-Earth, practical guide on how to deal with the natural emotions that accompany creativity and entrepreneurship.
Now, before we go any further …
Because I think our dreams are so important, I’ve included lots and lots of resources in this guide. They come in two forms:
These are some of my favorite go-tos for inspiration, knowledge, self-work and more. I don’t include that many, because I want the ones I do put in to be meaningful. I highly recommend you check them out. Good stuff, people.
These require (or if you prefer, invite) your participation. You can write your answers down on paper, print out the pertinent pages or, if you have a physical book, photocopy them (gasp! Yes, people still do it). It’s up to you. Or you can also just think through them; the thought exercises included are all relatively simple, and more meant to get your creative juices flowing than to hash out anything specific. So make it your own.
You’ll notice throughout this book, in fact, that it’s more a primer on how to think about creativity than it is a step-by-step guide. I mean, yes, it’s that too. But mostly, this book is a recognition of how GD HARD it is to make it as a creative, and that the biggest enemy we face is our own thoughts.
This book is all about telling those thoughts to take a hike.
Before we kill them and turn them into stew.
STEW, I SAY.
This book is not intended to replace therapy, friendship, hard work, research, palm-reading, astrology, personality tests or actual job counseling. I am not responsible for your career choices (though if you become a shooting star I will be first in line to take credit).
However. You can and should use this ebook to replace emotional eating, crying in the bathtub and wine binges. I want you to stop mourning your dream and start earning it.
I WANT YOU TO GET THE HELL OVER IT ALL.
It is my considered opinion that your vision is worthy and viable, but since we’ve never met, you’ll have to find that out on your own.
I know you are. But just in case, I’ll leave you with the words of young amazeballs poet Erin Hanson:
“What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”
See, you totes feel better now, right? Okay then …
Like what you read here? It’s from my book Get the Hell Over It: How to Let Go of Fear and Realize Your Creative Dream (Weenie-Proofing the Artistic Brain). Feel free to check it out, or head over to the Free Library for other great resources to help you get your head “write” today. (Get it?) Just click that big shiny picture below. Onward!
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