Make Stuff, Put it Out

I started this topic well before all of the pandemic insanity, but perhaps now it’s more important than ever to flesh it out, as creative habits have been essential to my wellbeing, and a ton of us have drastically different schedules than we’re used to…

I’ve been slacking on this blog like crazy. This is only my second post since September of last year. I could give you all kinds of reasons, doing other writing, focusing on practice and booking, not making it a priority…

And while those things are true, there’s something else going on as well.

I haven’t felt very confident in my ideas for this project – or my writing about them – and that makes me hesitate. Like any other area of creativity, there’s the age-old problem of imposter syndrome, and it can leave me wondering why I’d have any authority to speak on these topics, why anyone would care what I might have to say…

But that’s only part of it. The other source of my waning confidence as a music/drumming/creativity blogger is, well, depth.

I tend to look at everything as a vastly complex nebula of ideas and sub-ideas (nerd alert). Eveything has near-infinite details that bear investigating… And I’ve accidentally convinced myself that if I can’t tackle a subject with all its myriad subtleties, then I have no business writing about it in the first place.

This post is my attempt to throw that thought in the garbage, and hopefully pull some others out of the wastebasket in the process.

Say this with me: IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT. 

You can make and share work that has flaws and shortcomings, and so can I. Just because I can’t cover every nuance and chase down every angle of one topic or another, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try to write about it at all… Or more accurately, fine tune it into infinity, and never actually let anyone see it.

Every piece of creative work we do is a representation of us in that moment in time. We use the skills we presently have, the headspace we’re in, and a current understanding of our ideas to make something, and the thing IS WHAT IT IS.

Maybe it’s the cultivated self-image of social media, maybe it’s comparing ourselves to others, and maybe it’s just the general fear of being vulnerable enough to present something you’ve created (and I understand that’s a particularly big one for people who aren’t used to doing it)…

But for those reasons and more, I think a lot of people (myself included) hesitate to fully embrace sharing their work, whether it’s online or in performance, because they don’t think it’s good enough, done enough, cool enough.

Now, that doesn’t mean you need to publish every rough draft, settle on substandard takes for your recordings, hang every color test in a gallery, or post photos with your fingers in them (there I go again, making caveats and contradictions)…

Still take the time to hone your craft. Still pay attention to what you’re doing and try to be objective about where the work needs work.

But when something feels done-ish, don’t tiptoe toward the finish line making endless last minute changes. Don’t second guess every. Single. Detail. Don’t be overly concerned about who sees it and who doesn’t, or if they’ll even like it.

Make stuff, release it into the world, and instead of worrying too much about it after, get to work on the next one.

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Thoughts?