“You! You right there! You suck AT LIFE, mother fucker!”
For almost two years now, people have paid me to write for them. In the past year, I went strictly freelance and in doing so, my paid writing work picked up.
I feel very fortunate.
Actually, most of the time I feel completely bewildered.
Every day I envision a Russian totalitarian figure a la propagandic style standing tall amongst a backdrop of fire, pointing a giant forefinger at me and shouting, “YOU are obsolete! YOU have no idea what you are doing!”; a fleet of angular soldiers in perfect unison come to whisk me away and save humanity from the disease known as my poor prose.
I’m still not exactly sure where semicolons go and you will never see me use a word like “perfunctory” in a sentence. I’m not even sure what that means. Granted, I DON’T HAVE AN EDITOR TO FIX MY MISTAKES!
This is an insecurity I mostly keep to myself because, well, nothing is more unattractive that an unconfident person.
Look at Prince. You think he’s sexy, right? RIGHT?! It’s ok, we’re all friends here. You know why you think he’s sexy? Because though he’s bite-size, he has the confidence of an anaconda. You’d be hard-pressed to spot Prince in a crowd, but his ego and aura are taller than a Redwood tree.
It’s true that you don’t get jobs by running around, screaming, “OH MY GOD! DO I KNOW WHAT THE HELL I’M DOING? TELL ME!!!!111111!!!!!!11111”
The times I do share my concerns with friends, they remind me that is all part of the game: if you work in a creative field, the majority of the time you are a basket case of nerves, self-doubt
If you’re reading this, chances are you are a creative person too.
You may be a blogger yourself, or a writer, an artist, a filmmaker, a craft-maker, a photographer, a DIYer, a web creator, a clothing designer or a graphic artist.
You may make your living in a creative field or maybe you create on your own time, for you, for your family or for the world.
Either way, you know it’s something you have to do. Whether it be every day, every week, or a few times a year, creating is what gets you up in the morning and gives you purpose. It’s essential to your sanity and your well-being. It prevents you from becoming your father and coming home after a long day at work to the only comforts in life: a bottle of whiskey and a plush recliner.
Because art is so important to you, it’s imperative that you do not let self-doubt use your creative balls as a punching bag.
Below are some mantras I try to remind myself on a daily basis when uncertainty rears its butt-ugly face.
I hope you find them helpful!
Tips on Fighting Doubt and Insecurity
1.) Don’t compare yourself to others.
2.) Remember what Mom always said, “Don’t compare yourself to others!”
3.) Comparing yourself to others is for wussies!
4.) FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS!
5.) You little shit, are you comparing yourself to others right now?
6.) Is that comparing yourself to others I smell?
7.) You reek of comparing yourself to others, you nasty turd!
8.) Comparing yourself to others is Satan’s work.
9.) Listen to me very carefully, you personified piece of human excrement, if you compare yourself to others one more time, I will stick a whoopee cushion up your ass.
10.) Only compare yourself to Prince and then try to BECOME Prince.
I’m making this into a poster & hanging it up in our living room. Is that alright?
Hahaha! Yes, please!
I found a quote by Theodore Roosevelt that said “Comparison is the thief of joy.” So true, although yours are way funnier. Make one of them into a pinnable image and watch that shit go viral.
That’s a great quote!
Hello, I love you. If we weren’t such introverts and these sweatpants and couch weren’t so comfortable, we could totally have coffee one day.
Haha! Let’s do it soon though!
Haha, LOVE this! xx
I’m one of the lucky ones (Meryl Streep) who doesn’t have the problem (Mark Ruffalo, Daniel Day-Lewis) with comparing myself (Sidney Lumet, Charlie Kaufman) to others.
But I supposed your post is a good (Shakespeare, David Lean, George Clooney) reminder.
This is awesome 🙂 it made me smile!!! I love that quote by TDR too.
Brava!!! Love this. Love Prince.
Good post. I believe this TR quote is also appropriate. “Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough.”
“Don’t compare yourself to others” is the answer to SO many things.
Sometimes I wonder why it’s so hard. I think I know why – it’s because, when you compare yourself to others, you also have a sense that there *is* a right way to do things. Sometimes that’s more reassuring than the truth, which is that there’s no guarantee things will work out the way you want them to.
*no guaranteed way to make things work out the way you want them to.
lol. I like the way you think. the humor and truth spark elation in my mind. By the way a semi colon separates two independent clauses.
Gotta check out the book, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Totally kicked my freelancin ass
It’s all about this! Great post, Lauren! Needed to hear this today
Hilarious, that is my worst problem. I am going to scapegoat Facebook for this one!
i’m a musician, well trying to be one, and everything you said is true! specially the prince thing. just like the way greed made it for gordon gekko i think self confidence and a bit of ego is certainly what a great artist needs! but to be honest with ya’ll, an artist’s world is 70 percent hell and 30 percent joy!!! maybe ego is good?
Freakin’ awesome! You are so damn right. Thanks for speaking the truth.
Any thoughts on making a t-shirt? I want one!
Thank you for my morning dose of reality 🙂 have a great insecurity-free week.
[…] I don’t know who said it and I’m not sure the Internet does either, but my friends at Vinca put these brilliant words on a necklace for me because they know I’m a insecure and jealous turd of a blog post I wrote regarding 10 Different Ways for Artists to Fight Doubt and Insecurity. […]
Ok, obviously you have somehow activated my video camera and have been watching me compare myself with others, yes, even as I was reading your list. Frankly, while it creeps me out just a little that you observed and recognized my little-shitted-ness LIVE, I am grateful for the reprimand.
maybe you have read it or know of it – but sort of on this topic is a book for artists called the artists way. it’s sort of like a work book. it’s pretty amazing, in my view. the write-up kinda makes it seem christian, but it’s really not
[…] This post originally appeared at Hipstercrite. […]