Ignore Everybody

I haven’t been feeling too hot all day so I took it easy this morning and ended up reading Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod.

Despite the not-so-brilliant idea of reading a motivating book when I’m not feeling well enough to be motivated, I enjoyed it. It’s got a lot of great advice – one of the chapters is literally called “Start Blogging” – and a few sections really struck a chord with me.

You see, during this past year, the closer and closer I’ve gotten to being “established in Los Angeles”, the more I’ve had a “wee voice” in my head calling me back to my massive, been-working-on-it-for-waaaay-longer-than-I-care-to-admit Japan project.

MacLeod writes:

Your wee voice came back because your soul somehow depends upon it. There’s something you haven’t said, something you haven’t done, some light that needs to be switched on and it needs to be taken care of. Now.

And he’s right. These are stories I haven’t told that I feel should be shared. In regards to this “Mt. Everest” of a project, his reply is:

So it looks like you’re going to have to climb the frickin’ mountain. Deal with it.

Fortunately for me, he recommends to “Keep Your Day Job”:

Keeping one foot in the “real world” makes everything far more manageable for me. The fact that I have another income means I don’t feel pressured to do something market-friendly. Instead, I get to do whatever the hell I want. I get to do it for my own satisfaction.

My project (which I’d always pictured as a book) needing to be successful made sitting down to write so daunting. But now that I’ve got a steady source of income, doing something I enjoy, and am no longer concerned about the medium (because “choice of media is irrelevant”), I can carry on creatively…

…in a calm fashion, day-in-day-out, and not go crazy in insane creative bursts brought on by money worries.

So I’m hoping to do this project for me – to “sing in my own voice” – under the assumption that I won’t be rewarded for it. Under the assumption that:

…it will not receive the recognition it deserves, that it will not be worth the time and effort invested in it.

The obvious advantage to this angle is, of course, if anything good comes of it, then it’s an added bonus.

So I’m ready to get back to work.

Because, like director Tim Burton explained to the author:

If you have the creative bug, it isn’t ever going to go away. I’d just get used to the idea of dealing with it.

deal with it

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