I’ve been going through this thing, for most of life if I’m honest, where I think – who cares anyway? Why bother writing, painting, making things when no-one is interested in what I do?
I guess it’s a mixture of insecurity, nihilism, existential angst, impostor syndrome and low self-worth (that’s a heady cocktail!). So I produce lots of stuff and hide it away in plain sight (no danger of comments, good or bad, if you never promote your website or join online groups).
And yet, I keep creating stuff.
I can’t stop. I do something nearly every day and have done for thirty something years but because I wasn’t Arts educated … actually I wasn’t really educated at all… I don’t feel those things have any worth to other people. I can’t call myself an artist or a writer or an illustrator because it doesn’t feel right and as my Gran said most days of my dysfunctional, working class, council estate, upbringing, “know thy place”.
I’m grateful to the small audience I do have for their encouraging words and sometimes I even believe they’re not just being nice. On good days I think I have some amazing things to offer but the impulse soon fades and I hide another piece in the belly of my website.
And then this little trilogy of books came along…
… and it all made sense (mostly).
I love the simplicity, practicality, honesty and, more than anything, the humanity of these amazing tiny tomes. Each builds on the next with wise insights, practical guidance and lots of lists (who doesn’t like a list?).
I heartily recommend that you read them even if you don’t consider yourself creative (you are by the way). They work on lots of different levels. You can also follow the author’s website at https://austinkleon.com/ and sign up for more of his stuff if you want to.
I’m not saying they fixed all my weirdness, that’s a big ask, but they lit me up and made me realise that I don’t need a label or affirmation or anything else – I just need to create and share with others. Who knows? It may help someone.
So, that’s why it seems fitting to make this the first post in months on an obscure website, in the hopes that it will be one of many featuring my creative work.