The Fear Cave

Work. It's hard to get into sometimes. Esepcially when it's something you've been putting off for a really long time. Like writing these blog posts.

It's hard because the longer I leave it the more all sorts of reasons and justifications for not doing it build up in my head. The most prominent for me include (although definately not limited to), "It's going to suck", "It's going to be really hard", "It wont be good enough", "It's going to look really stupid doing a ###### now after not doing it for ages" & "People are going to to think it's crap". 

All of these reasons, if you really go into them and break them down are either entirely false statements, but most importantly based on fear. Fear has played a really important role in my life the last 6 months. Mainly in that I am learning to embrace the fear and see it as a compass. Anything I am scared of likely means that there will be something growthful or awesome on the other side of it. It's such a cliche but in my experience it's also completely true. In the words of Joseph Campbell "The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek". 

I used to think that the win from this was to get the thing on the otherside of the fear. The problem was that often the "thing" I got on the otherside of the fear often wasn't as good as I had hoped, or I couldn't see the value or relevance of it at the time. 

So now through this experience I have come to see that the win from fear isn't to get the thing on the otherside, it"s simply to face the fear / challenge / hard work / challenging situation. That's it. To actually face it. It's the act of facing and standing up to it istelf that provides me with a good feeling simply of knowing that I stood the fuck up and did the best that I could. The magic comes afterwards and usually in unexpected ways too. 

So how is this relevant to creating better art? Well just like sitting down and writing this blog post in spite of feeling all pressure of these negative reasons listed above, you can apply the same process to your art. 

Haven't written any music in a while? Feel the fear and start anyway. Write one drum groove. Haven't finished off that album you've been putting off for ages? Start somewhere and do the smallest possible thing you can do. Even just sit down at your DAW and listen through to your tracks and make a list of things you can do. Do the smallest thing. Make something rubbish. This is a fun thing for me to do often when I've been in a funk - just don't care AT ALL about the quality of what you create. Fuck it make it intentionally the WORST thing you've ever done and have fun with it. The funny thing is as soon as you're able to push past these initial reasons you'll realise you are totally capable of doing the work and things will start to flow again. 

Here's to diving into the fear cave.