What the hell am I doing here?

That’s the question rolling through my head today. Staring at the blank screen, trying to decide what to write about. Trying to figure out what you might like to read about… and I’m coming up blank.

I have been doing my best to follow a daily writing practice and honestly I need to do better. It’s down to just bypassing my lazy approach, and making myself just sit down and do it.

Instead, I find myself scrolling Twitter, Instagram, even Facebook. What starts off as a quick “let me see what’s new this morning” turns into mindless scrolling, searching for some nugget that will spark something to make me want to actually write.

It’s a waste of time. Mostly at least.

Nothing more than a distraction that I’m allowing myself to be side tracked by. Mainly since I’m worried that my writing won’t be “good enough” or that you won’t find enough value in the thoughts I share with you.

I know, I know. I’ve said the words myself! We have to stop judging our work before we release it. But I’m not perfect and I still struggle with it the same as you.

Remember, we’re on this journey together…

Anyways, there was a post from James Altucher over on Facebook that I read while distracting myself from writing. One passage in particular stood out to me:

James Altucher via Facebook – Click the image for the full post

The idea of pushing yourself in your writing, in your creative work, to the point where it makes you afraid of what people will think of you when you share it. There is power in that line of thinking. As long as what you are writing or sharing is honest and genuine from you.

I’ll never understand the pull to want to be a “shock jock” like some morning radio personality. I can’t expend the energy to “play a character”. I just don’t have it in me to pretend to be someone that I’m not.

So what do I say that makes me afraid of what people will think of me?

I don’t live a life that would offend anyone, to be brutally honest. I’m not an “edgy” person full of hot takes on controversial topics… so where is that fear I should be leaning into?

Marie Forleo talks about how we should learn to embrace and chase our fear when it arises. Don’t hide from it, go after it because often the source of that fear is where our greatest opportunities reside. She talks about it in her post called ‘The Power of Following Your Fear’, which includes the following video episode of MarieTV:

Terrific advice, but still… what or where is my fear coming from?

For me it’s pretty simple today. My fear comes from worrying that people will think I’m a fraud. That you’ll read this post and feel like it’s coming from someone that is all talk but no action. I mean, my motto for 2020 is #TakeActionGiveValue after all. But does writing blog posts and recording podcast episodes actually count as “creating” or Taking Action?!

I hope so.

I’m still making photos. I also have been enjoying trying to teach myself to draw. But I don’t need to TELL you about that. I just need to keep DOING it.

Sure, some of you may feel like I’m all talk and no action. You may tell me exactly what I am afraid of hearing. But I have to embrace that, lean into it, allow myself to hear it and keep forging my own path forward, wherever that leads.

I hope you do the same.

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

David (Usually Dave) Szweduik is a photographer, podcaster, and all around geek from the great state of Minnesota and can be found weekly on his podcast Adventures in Creativity. There you’ll find him having conversations fueled by curiosity around the amazing world of all things creativity. If you want even more terrific creativity based content, feel free to join the fun with the Newsletter!

2 Replies to “Inspired by fear”

  1. Lawrie margrave says:

    Exactly what I needed to hear today! Loved Marie‘s video, she has motivation nailed!
    I live in the now socialist state of California and I don’t agree at all with the direction the government is going therefore as an artist, I have a huge choice. I can be true to myself, make my art and fend off the slings and arrows or cave! For the longest time, I caved because the ‘likes’ were important to me. I got over my fear and evan to speak my truth – let the chips fall where they may.

    I live my simple life, make my art, contribute to my community and my fellow man – I see myself as a kind supportive person. People can think what they want to about me but I know my own heart and soul. It took 74 years to arrive at this point. I’ll be 77 in two months, how freeing to put fear behind me as I persue my ideas and dreams. Case in point, portfolio review on Sunday! I’ll let you know how it goes!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *