Something I picked up from my years hanging out with and picking up the habits of academic, faux academics, chronic critics, and pseudo-intellectuals is the fear of being wrong. Well, it’s not an outright fear. It’s more a hard, genuine disdain, more like something to be desperately avoided. That’s what keeps a lot of people like them (and subsequently me) from going out and actually doing something — something other than critiquing others’ efforts. For years I’ve been dying to jump out and be creative, do something creative, but this awful self-doubt, this fear of whatever I do not being “right” or “good” has kept me from it.
To be honest, though… it’s not just the pointy-heads that got me thinking that way. My ex-wife was the same. I know you’re probably tired of hearing about her already. I’m just trying to be honest with myself. I allowed them — and her — to have that effect on me, because they were all my friends and she my wife. We make allowances for the important people in our lives, and often we make these allowances, do things that work against ourselves. Odd, but true. Anyway…
Over the past several months, I’ve been working up my nerve. I bought a new ubercomputer in January. (It’s still in its box.) I bought a new digital video camera in February. (It’s not in its box, but it’s not been used yet.) Probably soon I’m going to buy editing software. Then the plan is to shoot and edit. I’ve no plans for form, just the plan to shoot and see what turns up after the edit. I really want to do it, very much. As I said, I’ve been working up to it, psyching up for it for many weeks. The closer the plan gets to fruition, the more intimidating it gets, to be honest. Thankfully, at this point I’m more excited by the fear, the butterflies than I thought id’ be. That’s progress, and it’s good progress.
Artists and other creative types live out on that edge. They don’t live dangerously, not in a physical sense, but they do expose themselves, their minds and ideas, by putting them out there and seeing what they can turn up. Years and years ago, I lived out there with them. I know it’s where I belong. What I must do is free myself from the mindset I acquired over the years while in the company of so many who lived inside, in relative safety and in relative boredom.