Throughout history, failures or setbacks have often led creative people to discover something greater or better than the original plan. At the very least, valuable lessons were learned. Friday fudge is about creatives persevering past the obstacles, and finding delicious rewards they could never have imagined or hoped for in the first place.
The other day I was at the computer fretting once more over preparing a post to publish on my blog.
I had too many windows open on my computer, was multitasking and I was sleep-deprived. Even though I had a handful of drafts as options, and many ideas and paragraphs scribbled in a notebook open on my desk, nothing seemed right or sufficiently satisfied my inner-critic/perfectionist’s standards.
Argh, I was letting myself get pulled into the quagmire of self-doubt about my writing yet again!
I skimmed over a few of my previously published posts, deciding the one titled Who Says? would be ok to send out again. Then I quickly changed my mind and cancelled the scheduling process from my WordPress administrative area. Or so I believed.
Even though I had received good feedback with this one after summoning up the courage to press publish the first time back in March, my stomach still churned reading what I wrote.
This is the only piece of writing I’ve put on the blog to date that wasn’t originally intended for publication.
Exposing one’s vulnerabilities for all the world to read is not for the faint-hearted.
That afternoon I, along with all my subscribers, received the notification from Feedburner that my post had been published. What the…? As I clicked open the email, a familiar swooshing sensation rose up inside my head.
I grimaced and wished I had just written a new post and sent it out instead of going through all this ridiculous angst and rigamarole.
Within an hour, I heard from two readers who thanked me enthusiastically, explaining how well it spoke to them (again) at that precise moment. The message was repeated: this post was timely and valuable. Another person shared a chunk of my post in the form of a quote on her Facebook page.
The owl speaks, quipped a dear, wise friend.
Indeed, the positive repercussions from this serendipitous event prove to me in a not-so-subtle way that there are delicious rewards to be had even from my little creative fudge. One I couldn’t succeed in reversing or hiding.
How many times have I second-guessed and stopped myself from completing a blog post and shelved it instead of publishing? I’m embarrassed to admit how many!
It reminded me of taking those multiple-choice tests back in school. I should have stuck with my first answer instead of succumbing to over thinking and changing my mind, inevitably getting most of those questions wrong. Discovering afterwards my gut instinct was indubitably right.
Imagine all the creative work we could produce if we didn’t waste so much time getting in our own way.
Now I’ve decided to put a concerted effort in being mindful (yeah, I ‘m going to start meditating on a regular basis too!), stopping myself from continuing to play the woulda-coulda-shoulda game. Continue to move forward with my creative dreams and goals with renewed purpose and conviction, insecurities and all. Like Dory, I’m just going to keep on swimming, swimming, swimming!
When it feels awkward or uncomfortable for you to complete and then share your creative work, chances are you’re onto something good, and someone else needs it, including yourself.
It really is ok to make silly mistakes along the way, to chuckle at yourself, be grateful for the unexpected gifts of serendipity, and to give yourself authentic creative freedom to take more risks. It’s worth it.
What are some of the ways you overcome self-doubt or whatever stands in your way from getting your creative work done and out into the world? Please feel free to share in the Comments.
In case you missed them, here’s a few of the other Friday fudge posts you might want to read: