Sunday, January 30, 2005

"mozhe shitou guo he"

"Feel the stone to cross the river", which I guess means something like, try to find something solid and familiar before you launch yourself into the torrent.

This is a way to get my footing. After years of avoidance I'm taking the leap into the land of web publishing. Tonight I signed up on blogspot, posted my first post and learned how to alter templates to add links. I can see that it's a slipperly slope from here and that a copy of HTML FOR DUMMIES waits in my near future. I want photos! Cool graphics! Embedded MP3s and maybe even entire E-books.

Earlier today, I mentioned to a writer friend of mine who has always praised my work ethic (I'm not sure why) that I was thinking of starting a blog. His response: "Oh. Blogs. They're great black holes of procrastination." But I figure, hey, I've got the Web for that already. I might as well waste time on my own site instead of others.

I've spent years doing creative work. I've always had a very ambivalent attitude about sharing it. I fronted a band in Los Angeles for over a decade. We never had any huge material success, got some good reviews, played in just about every dive in LA for a certain period in time. I was pretty good at it. But for years I would wake up the morning after a gig and panic, thinking, what the fuck did I do up there last night? Was that me? Couldn't be! Obviously my evil twin was getting her required face time with the public, leaving me, the good twin, mortified by her performance.

After a while, gigging stopped bothering me so much. I gradually realized that this wasn't just some in-the-moment expression of my Inner Soul and Creative Spirit, it was really a craft and a skill, and I'd gotten better at it. That's why it's called a "performance," dummy! Well, okay, I've always been a little slow at getting certain basics.

Those of us engaged in self-expression, either as a vocation or advocation, experience a lot of rejection. I think you can cope with this a number of ways.

First, crawl back into your hole and don't show anything you do to anyone. This has worked well for me in the past.

Second, know that you are a Special Person, and recognize that those who reject you simply do not understand the Unique Brilliance of You. I've tried this but can't sustain it for any length of time. I'm really much better at self-loathing and besides, in my experience, this approach works best for those who don't actually produce a lot. There's nothing more brilliant than that thing you haven't yet done.

Third, pretend like you're a professional. Schedule time to do your work, have goals, learn your craft, all that boring stuff I tried like hell to run away from (well, except for flossing. I've always been very good about flossing). I've found that this approach eliminates a lot of the mind-fuck aspects ("what does this MEAN?" "what am I SAYING about myself?" "What kind of FREAK am I?!" "And WHY AM I TELLING ANYONE ELSE ABOUT THIS?!"), thereby improving quality, productivity and in general, increasing one's creative satisfaction.

Then of course I experience rejection and crawl back into my hole anyway.

What's the point of an audience? If we do these things because we love them, because we have to, why is it that we need to share?

1 comment:

Other Lisa said...

Okay, I know, money. Lots of money.