Blank Space Phobias

 

There’s a saying….I don’t know from whom, nor do I know the exact words, but the saying is, “waiting for a battle is worse than the actual battle.” I concur with that. Just like when it comes to starting any project you feel excited about, thinking about it without acting upon it, starts to intimidate you. This goes beyond writer’s block…

Now a “battle” and a goal/dream are different things…but it can be a battle to achieve that dream. If we are so eager to have these dreams become a reality, why are we so hesitant to get the ball rolling?

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A group of Indie film makers and I were in a discussion and one of them had the guts to ask a bold question. “What is your biggest fear as a director?” Although I thought it an odd question at the time, almost immediately, I knew my answer: That my vision will never be visualized, AS I invisioned it. That I would be unable to communicate…that I would be “handicapped” in bringing the experience of this story to others. Maybe that’s narcissistic way of looking at it, but let’s face it; our brain child really IS our baby. Hurt that baby and we’re crushed. It’s like we all become Good Will Hunting, not wanting to get too close in fear of possibly being rejected. However, we can not be all things to all people. We can not “connect” with everyone all the time.  Yet, we attempt to do just that, anyway.

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So we go to “work” trying to make our project “perfect.” Be it a song, a script, a seemingly simple shot in a film….it becomes the never ending project that never get’s finished or never get’s off the ground. We become the little boy who cried “wolf” that no one takes seriously…you become known as the “dreamer” who is just a talker, not a doer.  

There’s another fear that keeps us from bringing our artistic ideas out of the far regions of our mind’s eye and onto paper. The scenario above could be labeled as a fear of failure…but there’s also the fear of success. Unfathomable…who doesn’t want to be “successful”? (i.e. seeing a dream become a reality). Failure is indeed scary, but success is scarier.    

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There are those whom I like to call “closet artists,” who are naturally gifted and spend hours on end writing, composing, etc. They can’t help it. They have no problem bringing forth their imagination, even with their day jobs and family demands. They EXUDE creativity…but they hide it…or share it with a select few. The reason could be any number of fears, but I strongly suspect that;

#1. Their passion would no longer be fun to them, but just work.

#2. That they will have to come out of “hiding” and let other’s “see” them.

#3. That others will steal their ideas.

Although I understand those fears, my rebuttal is that;

#1. Everything is work. Don’t believe anyone who says different.

#2. You can’t avoid others forever, especially when you have a gift.

#3. I’ve had artistic ideas stolen from me too…get used to it. Besides, imitation is the highest form of flattery.

I respect anyone who creates simply out of the joy it brings them, and not necessarily out of making a career for themselves. However, it reminds me of the parable of the talents. When the master gave the “talents” or “gifts” to each of his servants, he meant for them to “produce,” to “influence” and/or to “inspire” others with the abilities he gave them. In short, the gifts he gave them, were not about them, but others. That brings a lever of responsibility and accountability to our gifts…not everyone’s favorite words.

And now that I have put all my thoughts on the matter in writing, I am suddenly scared out of my mind…because I have just made myself accountable. Congratulations to me…

Our artistic inclinations are a labor of love…and a major pain. This online magazine is one of them. You’ve got to get it done but on the same token, you can’t rush art. I’m making myself sound like a basket case, but tell me it’s not true. The artist must suffer either way…I guess that’s how I know I’m one of them.

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