The Fear of Creating

I have had this article in my draft box for over a month. I started it, I knew what the idea was, I lay it out, and then I got scared. This essay is about why I was scared to create it, and

Creating something new is terrifying. Sharing what you create is another whole world of scary. When I first created this site, I had no idea what I was doing. I still don’t. This started off as a lifestyle blog, about productivity, health and coffee. Now it is about productivity and living well. Along the way I realized that I need to write about what I know, and as a current student, I can’t successfully write about lifestyle. I’ve also realized that I need to write about what I am actually thinking and finding interesting, not what I think other people will find interesting.

I’ve written over 15 articles, and several thousand words, but I still haven’t done the hard part. The part that is, in terms of effort, easiest. I haven’t shared the blog yet. At this time of writing, only 4 people have seen this, and even sending it to each of them was pretty scary. This is because for every article I think of, it ends up being worse on paper than in my head. The idea I have for the article is something grand and inspiring, but what I end up with is always a bit wet and confused by comparison. As a result of this I am scared to share what I’ve created. Not just scared to share, but scared to create.

Why is it that I have this fear? I believe that I, like many others, value myself on what I am able to do. This isn’t unusual. In the same way that you might be proud of yourself for what you have achieved, or disapointed in yourself when you have failed, these potential actions also hold potential feelings. When you know that you will succeed, there is a positive potential feeling, so you are more likely to do it. However, when there is a chance of failure, or you think that the task will be painful or hard, it holds a negative potential feeling. When it comes to writing and sharing blog posts, I worry that they aren’t any good, and so don’t finish them or share them.

This is where the Catch 22 is. If I don’t write and share the posts, I won’t ever improve. This is where the ‘Agile’ mentality can come in handy.

What is Agile? Agile was originally thought of as a method of software development, but recently has started being used in other
areas. Although mainly for teams, some core lessons can be copied to individual use. Agile values individuals and interactions
over processes and tools, working software over comprehensive documentation, customer collaboration over contract negotiation and responding to change over following a plan. In short, Fail Fast and Learn. To learn more click here. Failing fast does not mean doing stuff badly, it means doing stuff and then find out what is wrong with it.

So share what you have, and get feedback on it. Share it with different people constantly. If you are getting opposite feedback from each person, then it may not be clear what your goal is.

What is it within us that tries to avoid getting hurt when the comments are negative, or tries to stop us from creating and sharing in the first place? That is the Ego. When it comes to creating, the ego is the enemy. Protecting the ego never created anything good. If you want to create something good, start off by creating something bad.

I hear people asking “How do I get started, how do I do this?” You just start. It won’t be perfect, it’ll be messy and it’ll be hard, but you’ll be on your way.

I’ll be honest. I don’t know much about what comes after starting. But as this goes on, I’ll keep you in the loop.