We all want to be liked by others, or perhaps more accurately we’d all like some kind of validation from other people. Whether or not you care much for other people, it’s almost an inherent desire that we want to be noticed. Yet, contradictory to that notion for many is that some are afraid of being noticed, nine times out of ten because there is a fear of being judged or ridiculed by other voices. As a person, let alone an artist, this is a dangerous barrier to not only personal growth, but to expressing yourself freely. And it’s my belief that as an artist you absolutely cannot stand to be afraid of judgment or let the feelings and whims of others dictate your desire to express your art.
We all get attached to things, and emotionally invested in products or stories we enjoy even if these things don’t have an active effect on our lives. And by extension it’s normal to get a bit riled up when these things come under scrutiny or get criticised. However lately I’ve been seeing a lot of incidences, particularly in the gaming industry, where people are so attached to the product and the company behind it that any opposing thought or criticism of it leads to intense hostility and personal attacks without regard for the opinion itself. I’m sure we’ve all seen this before. Some would call it being part of the internet. My issue, however, is not with people who become attached to products, but those who become so emotionally invested that they actually willfully choose to be close-minded towards any opposing opinions regarding what they enjoy. Willfully choosing to be close-minded, folks, is ridiculous.
I believed for a long time, in my naivety as a writer, that I needed motivation and inspiration to write. I believed that without it I wouldn’t be able to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. I wondered how so many famous writers or people who’ve achieved success could say that the way to your dream is to simply start. I respected and admired quotes by wonderful people like Nelson Mandela, who said that “it always seems impossible until it’s done.” I could always understand all these words, but I could never apply them. I always just relied on motivation, a temporary advantage that arrived in amazing surges, but after an unpredictable amount of time left me feeling like I’d lost something powerful. And once those feelings are gone, they may take a long time to come back. I never realised how wrong I was to take that approach, which translated to little more than slowing progress to a frustrating level, and ensuring that my dream was left behind. I didn’t realise it until after I finished my first book. I didn’t realise it until someone told me they enjoyed reading it.